The purpose of this paper is to provide an introduction to the complaints procedure in health care in the UK.
The paper provides an overview of the current complaints procedure in the UK and whether it meets the objectives of a robust health care complaints system. A literature search was conducted in March 2009 on EMBASE, HMIC, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, HEALTH BUSINESS ELITE (1995‐2009) using the terms “NHS complaints” and “Negligence”. The reference sections of retrieved papers were hand‐searched for further relevant references.
There are several concerns about complaints handling in the current system. Poor handling of complaints typified by delays in responding to complainants' concerns, poor communication with complainants and inadequate record keeping have been highlighted.
The paper draws attention to the fact that there are still several concerns about complaints handling in the NHS and that it needs further improvement before gaining the confidence of service users. Not much interest has been demonstrated in this area and an effective and transparent complaints procedure will facilitate service user confidence in the system.
George, M. and Joseph, R. (2009), "Complaints procedures in the NHS: are they fair and valid?", Clinical Governance: An International Journal, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 183-188. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777270910976120Download as .RIS
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