Over 3,000 written complaints against NHS per week


complaints-illustrationThe number of written complaints about NHS organisations in England was 162,000 during 2012-13, equivalent to more than 3,000 written complaints a week over the year. The figures are contained in Data on written complaints in the NHS, published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). The figures show a 1.9% increase in complaints on the previous year.


The profession attracting the biggest number of written complaints was the ‘medical profession’ (which includes hospital doctors and surgeons), making up 47.1 per cent (51,500) followed by ‘nursing, midwifery and health visiting’ at 22.1 per cent (24,100).

The service area receiving the greatest number of written complaints was ‘inpatient hospital acute services’ accounting for 31.9 per cent (34,900), followed by ‘outpatient acute services’ (27.5 per cent or 30,000), ‘mental health services’ (10.7 per cent or 11,700) and ‘A&E’ (8.9 per cent or 9,680).

The subject area receiving the largest number of written complaints was ‘all aspects of clinical treatment’, making up 46.2 per cent (51,100) followed by ‘attitude of staff’ (11.1 per cent or 12,300), ‘communication/information to patients’ (10.5 per cent or 11,600) and ‘appointments, delay/cancellation (outpatient)’ (8.0 per cent or 8,890).