‘Declare Your Care’ to help improve services says Care Quality Commission.
About seven million people who used NHS, private health or social care services in the past five years had concerns about their treatment but had never raised them, according to the Care Quality Commission (CQC). More than half of these people (58%) expressed regret at not doing so.
CQC’s new research shows that patients and their carers often worried about being seen as troublemakers or feared that complaining would make matters worse
The main reasons for raising a concern were poor patient care, a lack of information and delays to a service or appointment.
The research was published to mark the launch of CQC’s ‘Declare Your Care’ campaign, which encourages people to share their experiences of care to help improve standards of care in England.
John Kell, Head of Policy at the Patients Association, said:
“It’s sobering to read that millions of people who have had concerns about their care have chosen not to share their experiences, either because they did not know how to do so, or because they were worried that they would not be taken seriously.
“Patient input is an invaluable resource for the NHS. This is particularly true when things have gone wrong – complaints will help the NHS understand what happened, and learn so that it is not repeated. But the NHS needs to learn to value this patient input, and act on it rather than becoming defensive and closing ranks as often happens. An NHS that is not truly open will always be an NHS that fails to learn and improve.
”Many people contact us seeking information on the complaints process, and patients are generally nervous that by speaking out their future care will suffer. That should not be the case in an NHS that is open to feedback and keen to improve based on patients’ experiences.”
Read more about CQC’s research
Find out more about The Patients Association