Majority Of Over-65s ‘Afraid’ To Complain About Substandard Care Says Report

Legal Experts Call On Health Care Providers To Improve Complaints System


Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

Medical negligence experts have expressed their concern after new research indicates that older people could be suffering in silence because many do not complain after receiving substandard levels of healthcare.

The report, which was published on Wednesday, found that 56% of people over 65 who had experienced a problem had not complained because they were worried about how it might impact their future treatment.

The research from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) also showed that almost one in five did not know how to raise a potential complaint, while about a third felt that complaining would not make any difference.

The report, which was based on a national survey of almost 700 people over 65, as well as focus groups and case studies, called for action in light of Britain’s ageing population.

According to the Office for National Statistics, about one in 10 people in the UK will be 75 or over by 2030.

The report recommended a more concerted approach from NHS providers, who need to make sure that all patients know how to make a complaint without fear of repercussions.

Guy Forster, a Partner and medical negligence expert at Irwin Mitchell, said that the research was concerning as the lack of complaints for the elderly could lead to missed opportunities to improve the service for others. 

Expert Opinion
The report highlights the fact that older people in the community could be suffering in silence because they are reluctant to complain.

If people don’t complain, mistakes and short comings could go undetected which could have life changing or fatal consequences.

Health care providers need to make sure that everyone who uses their services knows how to make a complaint and reassure them that doing so will not have repercussions or a negative impact on the standard of care they receive.
Guy Forster, Partner