27/09/2001

Health and social services complaints procedure is re-evaluated

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety published an evaluation of the NHS complaints procedure this week.

The ‘NHS Complaints Procedure National Evaluation’ report reviewed current complaints procedures in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

As part of the study complainants, patient representatives and NHS staff were interviewed and recommendations were put forward for a number of improvements in the current procedure to make procedures more effective, fair and consistent.

The document which is subtitled “A Listening Document” summarised the proposals set out in the evaluation study and will now seek to include further views of patients and members of the public, who use and pay for the health service, as well as the staff who work for the health service to improve the complaints procedure.

These comments will then form the basis for a full public consultation on the current HPSS complaints procedure.

The current HPSS Complaints Procedures have been in operation for over five years. Comments on the evaluation report published on Thursday 27 September will allow the Department to shape proposals to improve procedures. Those proposals will also be subject to consultation.

The independent evaluation carried out between January 1999 and December 2000 was commissioned by Health Departments in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. carried out between January 1999 and December 2000.

A team comprising the York Health Economics Consortium and NFO Systems Three Social Research carried out the project. (AMcE)

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