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14.09.17

Written complaints against NHS soar by 4.9%

The number of written complaints about the NHS increased by 4.9% during 2016-17 compared to the previous year, new data from NHS Digital has revealed.

A total of 208,400 written complaints were received by the NHS during 2016-17, amounting to around 571 written complaints being made every day.

In particular, the data shows that complaints made to GP and dental practices has seen a sharp rise of almost 10% (9.7%) from last year, as there were 90,700 complaints made about primary care.

Around half (49.8%) of the resolved complaints made to primary care providers were upheld. Of these, 37.5% were fully upheld and 12.4% were partially upheld.

The situation for secondary care was not much better, as the report revealed a 1.4% year-on-year increase, with 117,800 complaints received in 2016-17 compared to 116,200 in 2015-16.

The areas which saw the biggest increases in all written complaints were Lancashire, which saw a 14.6% increase from 2015-16, the West Midlands where complaints went up by 14.6% and the North Midlands, where the rise was 8.8%.

Complaints fell in a number of areas: the South Central region, by 6.2%, the South West, by 1.8% and Cumbria and the North East by 0.6%.

NHE has contacted NHS England and the Department of Health for comment, but at the time of publication had not received a reply.

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