Survey reveals health complaints concernMost people see no point in airing their gripes

22 October 2007

 

Hospital care

Being prepared can make your hospital stay easier

Some people are afraid of complaining about their medical treatment in case it affects their future care, a new Which? survey has revealed.

Our poll of 842 people found that the majority of people don't see the point in complaining about healthcare treatment.

Just 17% of those who felt they had a reason to make a complaint have actually done so.

Of those who didn't complain, 57% didn't because they thought it wouldn't make a difference and, alarmingly, 32% thought it would compromise their future care.

Culture shift

Of those that did complain, only 27% were happy with how their complaint was dealt with and just 15% were happy with the outcome.

Which? health campaigner Frances Blunden said: ‘Is it any wonder that people don't see the point in complaining if they think it will compromise their care?

‘People need an accessible, quick and approachable way of making a complaint and they need to know that it won't be a waste of time. But, if people are experiencing problems with their care, they want them resolved there and then – lodging an official complaint should be a last resort.

‘The NHS needs a complete culture shift so that patients are encouraged to provide feedback throughout their time in hospital and assured that their comments will make a difference.’

Impatient for Change

Which? recently launched our Impatient for Change campaign with the backing of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

The campaign is fighting to improve all aspects of non-clinical care for hospital in-patients in the NHS with a focus on food, hygiene and the organisation of care.