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If you have a problem with the NHS, you are not alone.

October 2017

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The NHS was there for us when we were little, a fundamental fabric in everyone’s lives. It was admired throughout the world and we were brought up with a pride in our unique health system.

Too little money, too many people, great advances in health care and knowledge – so many factors have today made the NHS a struggling often criticised organisation.

Another change is our attitudes to doctors and medical staff. When we were kids, doctors were like gods; we believed every word and accepted their advice as sacrosanct. Today we can check up on the internet about the latest in diseases and medication, and can often question our doctors about advice and treatments.

The poor beleaguered NHS is not receiving more complaints than ever before. New figures released by NHS Digital show that there were 208,400 written complaints received by the NHS during 2016/2017. This is a 4.9 increase on the previous year.

The report points out that this means an average of 571 written complaints were made every day against the NHS.

Even more disturbing is the increase in written complaints to GP and dental practices, up 9.7 per cent on the previous year. Of course not all of these may have been justified, and the figures released by NHS Digital show that in fact 50 per cent of these complaints were not upheld.  Nevertheless it paints a sad picture.

The regional differences were interesting. The areas which generated the highest increases in written complaints were Lancashire (with 5,300 complaints compared with 4,600 the previous year, a 14.6 per cent increase); the West Midlands, the North Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber.

However, it wasn’t all bad news. The total number of complaints fell in the South Central, South West and Cumbria and North East regions of England.

The medical profession received the highest number of complaints, with 66,500 letters of complaint, up from 61,900 the previous year. But the last year has seen complaints against nurses grow strongly, up 9.8 per cent from 33,500 to 36,800 complaints.

This is a sad number of people who felt they had experienced such problems with our NHS system that they actually took the trouble to find out where they should write to and then wrote a letter outlining an official complaint.

While some complaints may be unjustified, I suppose as many of us now know, there are major problems within the NHS and these seem to be growing.

If you are concerned about some treatment or experience your have had with the NHS, you can find out more about lodging a complaint here.


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