Commenting on the Health & Social Care Information Centre’s figures today (26 August 2015) on patient complaints, Helen Birtwhistle, Director of External Affairs at the NHS Confederation, said:
“The safety of patients is of paramount importance to the NHS and patient feedback is essential for improving care. Our 2015 Challenge Manifesto champions the needs of patients. This in itself can lead to a higher number of patient complaints received by trusts as we see an even greater open dialogue between the NHS and patients today.
“There is a ‘golden thread’ to handle complaints effectively which involves apologising, explaining what happened, and describing why it won’t happen again. Managers and clinicians work hard to ensure patients receive safe and timely care but we need to always make sure that we are learning from patients and saying sorry, while we continue to take robust action to solve problems that occur.”