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Nhs Complaints

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he has published the results of his review on the NHS complaints procedure; and if he will make a statement. [109994]

We published "NHS complaints reform—Making things right", on Friday 28 March. It describes reforms to the national health service complaints procedure and sets out a programme to improve management of the whole complaints system, elements of which will be subject to the passage of the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill.The programme builds on the existing NHS complaint procedure, as well as wider initiatives, to introduce operational improvements focused on:

Making the system more flexible so that there are a range of ways in which people can express concerns about the services they have received
Improving the local resolution stage so that formal complaints are more likely to be resolved, reducing the need for them to escalate unnecessarily
Radical reform to the independent review stage, subject to primary legislation—by placing responsibility for it with the new Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection
Making sure information about complaints and their causes are an integral part of the system that assures safe, high quality care, which is constantly improving.