Top 5 medical complaints about treatment or wrong diagnosis

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Many people are not aware that you may ask for a review of your case by the Healthcare Commission and if necessary this will be referred to the Ombudsman if you complain to an NHS Trust regarding your care and are unhappy with the response you receive.

In 2007/08 the Healthcare Commission reviewed 7,827 complaints. A breakdown of the types of complaints revealed:

  • 11% regarding treatment
  • 9% delay in diagnosis/wrong diagnosis
  • 8% accessing treatment or being forced to wait for treatment
  • 6% related to the attitude of NHS staff
  • 12% related to communication and information patients received
  • 19% were about the way a complaint had been handed by an NHS Trust
  • 7% were about how effective NHS care was
  • 4% were about nursing care
  • 7% related to experiences a patient had
  • 5% were about record-keeping within the NHS

The Commission also commented that nearly 50% of the total number of complaints were upheld or sent back to the respective Trust for further work as the initial response was not good enough.

The total number of complaints to the NHS every year is around 135,000 and of these around 9,000 were passed to the Healthcare Commission. Around 30% were upheld and a further 17% were sent back to trusts for further action.

Unfortunately the trusts are also criticised for the manner in which they deal with the complaints themselves.


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