Not receiving an apology when mistakes are made is the most common complaint amongst NHS patients in England.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) investigates complaints which have not been resolved between the patient and the healthcare organisation.

Last year it investigated 1,652 complaints, of which 726 were upheld.

Data shows that 34% of complaints received by the PHSO arise because the patient and their family did not receive a good enough apology when things went wrong.

Other common causes of complaint include poor treatment, diagnostic errors and a lack of communication.

Julie Mellor, of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, said: “We know that there any many factors that influence the number of complaints hospitals receive, such as organisational size, demographics and whether they actively encourage feedback from patients.”

“I strongly believe that NHS leaders should welcome feedback from patients and recognise the opportunities that good complaint handling offers to improve the services they provide.”

Access to justice

The PHSO is sometimes described as the last port of call for patients who are unhappy with the way they have been treated by a healthcare professional or organisation.

However, some patients may also have the opportunity to pursue legal action in the form of a clinical negligence claim.

Many people who make a claim say they are seeking access to justice, as they feel aggrieved that they have received no apology or admission of guilt.

While a clinical negligence claim may not achieve these results, it does give you the chance to take action against those responsible. It can also help to improve standards of care, ensuring the same mistakes are not made in the future.

Contact us today

If you would like to find out whether you can make a claim for medical negligence, please get in touch with our legal team today.

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