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New Findings Highlight 'No Apology' Is The Most Common Patient Complaint

Specialist Lawyers Call For More To Be Done To Ensure Better Service For Patients


A new report into complaints received by the NHS in England last year has revealed that not receiving an apology is the most common problem reported by patients. 

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) released figures highlighting top NHS patient complaints in England in 2014 - 15. A poor apology after NHS failings came top of the list, shortly followed by errors in diagnosing conditions, poor treatment and lack of communication. 

The latest report suggested that the PHSO investigated 800 more complaints in comparison to last year – with 1,652 complaints in 2014-15, compared to 852 in 2013-14. 

Julie Mellor from PHSO, said; “We are publishing this data to help hospital trusts identify problems and take action to ensure trust in the healthcare system remains high." 

Irwin Mitchell’s Medical Negligence expert commented on the findings;

Expert Opinion
“The NHS saves lives on a daily basis but in our day-to-day work we see so many cases where patients have received sub-standard care and their health has been seriously affected as a result. More needs to be done to ensure NHS patients consistently receive the best care possible, and that if mistakes are made, we hope the healthcare system takes appropriate action immediately.

“Sadly we see the same mistakes time and time again which suggests that the NHS is not properly learning lessons from patient safety incidents. Some 41% of medical negligence damages are for babies left with serious long-term injuries because of mistakes during their birth. Improving care in this area could save billions of pounds in future by preventing the problems in the first place and this should be a top priority for the NHS and the NHSLA.

“A lot has been said about transparency in the NHS in recent years and there is now a Duty of Candour imposed on NHS trusts which is a legal duty to admit mistakes and apologise to patients. It is important that this Duty is not just ‘lip-service’ and becomes rooted into the work of all NHS staff. We know that fewer patients would feel they had to turn to litigation if Trusts were more open about their shortcomings.”
Guy Forster, Partner

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