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NHS sees record increase in complaints

Published on 26/08/2010
There has been a record rise in the number of patients making formal complaints against the NHS, suggesting many may be tempted to take out private medical cover instead.

Written complaints about NHS hospital and community services in England increased by 13.4 per cent during 2009/2010, the biggest annual increase seen since records began over a decade ago.

There were more than 100,000 complaints in total, with grievances relating to specialist doctors making up the largest group, followed by nurses, midwives and health visitors, the figures from the NHS Information Centre revealed.

Health minister Paul Burstow blamed policies brought in by the previous government for the poor results.

"Despite the hard work of NHS staff, [the figures] demonstrate that, after 13 years of targets and tickboxes, more people than ever complained about their experience of the NHS," he said.

However, NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said that it was important to remember there has been a substantial increase in NHS activity over time, which may have influenced the results.

It was recently reported that the NHS could be facing a bill of over £65 billion for facilities built under the Private Finance Initiative.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

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