Belfast Telegraph

More seek help with complaints over NHS

By Victoria O'Hara

The number of people wanting help to complain about the health service in Northern Ireland has risen by 19% in the last year, according to the Patient Client Council.

In the past year 2,308 people used the complaints support service with 1,112 making formal grievances.

The annual report for 2014/15 found the largest number of complaints were about treatment and care (58%), communication (21%), staff attitude (21%), and waiting times (15.8%).

A further breakdown about staff attitude showed complaints were sparked by doctors or nurses 'minimising' concerns and making comparisons such as saying: "I've got patients in worse pain than you."

It also said medical staff attempting to be "humorous or charming" leads to complaints. One patient reported being told: "You're too young and pretty to have cancer."

Louise Skelly, head of operations with the PCC, said: "Failure to address these recurrent issues is not fair to patients, or to the staff who are doing a good job." Evidence of improvements, as a result of complaints, could go a long way to improving confidence in Health and Social Care services."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph