Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: Northern Ireland health trusts which received the most complaints

Around 12 complaints a day are made against health trusts in Northern Ireland, new figures have shown.

The information from the Department of Health have shown 4,441 complaints were made in the 12 months leading up to the end of March this year, relating to 5,814 complaint issues.

A complaint is defined by the Department of Health as an "expression of dissatisfaction" which can be received either from a patient or someone acting on their behalf.

A complaint can be made referring to numerous complaint figures - which accounts for the disparity between the two figures.

Of these complaints issues, more than a third were made about issues affecting the Belfast HSC Trust.

Here is how complaint issues broke down across the different trust areas:

  • Belfast HSC Trust - 2,026 (34.8%)
  • South Eastern HSC Trust - 1,140 (19.6%)
  • Southern HSC Trust - 955 (16.4%)
  • Northern HSC Trust - 814 (14%)
  • Western HSC Trust - 746 (12.8%)
  • Northern Ireland Ambulance Service - 133 (2.3%)

Figures from the Department for Health are also broken down by category of complaint.

In the four years between 2013/14 and 2017/18, the only area which saw a rise in the number of complaint issues received as 'Professional Assessment of Need' - increasing 26.1% from 188 to 237.

In the 2017/18 period the most complaint issues - around one third - were made about issues relating to the category of 'Diagnosis/Operation/Treatment', followed by ‘Information & Communication’ (17.8%), ‘Patient Experience’ (17.7%), and ‘Appointments/Waiting Times’ (12.7%).

In terms of speciality, complaint issues were most frequently made about 'Accident & Emergency', accounting for 10.7%, followed by 'General Medicine' (7.1%), and 'Trauma & Orthopaedics' (7.1%).

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