NHS England responds to NHS complaints review

Responding to the NHS hospitals complaints system review published this week, Jane Cummings, The Chief Nursing Officer for England and NHS England said: “Our single most important purpose is to look after patients with compassionate care.  That means delivering the best possible patient experience to every single patient, every single time.  As part of this we must listen, take seriously and respond promptly, responsibly and openly to any complaint we receive.  Poor complaints handling is unacceptable.

“We must learn from complaints and continue to work hard to ensure patients feel confident raising issues or concerns and that staff feel supported to respond.

“NHS England and I personally, am committed to improving how complaints are handled in the NHS and will carefully consider all of the recommendations made in this important review.”


  1. Linda Wylie says:

    My introduction to the NHS was as a complaints administrator and it was quite a difficult introduction. Most of the team working in the department had been made redundant and 4 new people started on a Monday morning all new to the complaints procedures – which covered three hospitals. A very fast leaning curve.

    I now work as a systems support/administrator of online computer systems, training people, testing new developments and making sure things that have gone wrong get put right. In the computer world testing is done in a number of different ways one being to try and break a system to find its weak points. If things do not go wrong – well, that is worrying and when they do, this can often highlight other areas that needs fixing which were not know of before.

    Based on my experience in both areas, there are similarities – if something goes wrong in a hospital, GP practice or other areas of patient care the most important thing is to examine it carefully – it is no good hiding it and failing to learn from it. Building a knowledgebase that can inform across all the NHS and helping others without having to go through all the steps to find a solution is vital.

    Please do not see the complaints department as a necessary evil but a valuable resource in helping to improve services – and recognise the valuable service the administrators can offer in these departments. Changing nearly all a department in one go so they can be re-graded from band 6 to 3 is not an act that inspires faith and it is a very hard job to do.

  2. Mags Dowie says:

    As a Community matron in Doncaster I value the feedback from patients and their carers on the service i provide. With this in mind we use the 15 step challenge and ask patients to look at certain aspects of our interaction with them form welcoming, smart, knowledgable, inclusive etc. This has given us both positive and negative feedback for all community services and provides a learning culture from comments received. This documentation is also used as feedback from student nurses and GP trainees I take out in community. We also use the 6 C’s to look at our practice and have a brilliant feedback sheet used by our Community Practice Educators (CPE’s). i fyou would like to see copies of these documents I am happy to provide them.

  3. Stephen Elsmere says:

    Why don’t Trusts prioritise patient care before budgets and meeting targets and the other incidentals that dominate their existence?