New figures show that between 2013 and 2014, there were almost 175,000 written complaints about the NHS. NHS England receives 480 written complaints a day, with almost half of the complaints about hospital doctors and surgeons, followed by around 20 per cent against nurses, midwives and health visitors.
Complaints related to a number of issues included; the cancellation of appointments and the attitude of staff to transport, privacy and dignity and consenting for treatment across areas such as ambulance services, community hospitals, NHS Direct and mental health services.
However, Healthwatch England claimed there could be around 500,000 incidents of poor care or patient dissatisfaction that have gone unreported over the last two years. Chair of Healthwatch England, Anna Bradley said: “The report out today really is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to complaints about health and social care services in this country, with the reported figures significantly underrepresenting the true number of incidents of poor care. The need to improve the way the complaints system operates is well documented and we have been working with government to simplify the often baffling process for patients and their families. But for things to work properly, health professionals clearly need to do more to make people feel less intimidated about making their voices heard.”