“Older patients’ families struggle to complain about poor hospital care”

Owl says: No worry – soon there won’t be any hospitals to complain to or about!

“The survey of over 600 Gransnet members reveals that:

of those who were concerned about the treatment of their older relative, just over half (58%) complained

two-thirds (67%) of those who complained do not believe complaining makes a difference

over 1 in 3 (35%) respondents said there were occasions where they were concerned about the care or treatment of their older relative in hospital

almost 1 in 3 (31%) felt that the hospital staff did not have an adequate understanding of their older relative’s condition or care needs.

The survey also reveals wider concerns about communication with older patients and their families:

2 in 5 (40%) participants did not feel they were kept informed about their older relative’s condition in hospital and were not given enough opportunities to discuss their care and treatment;

1 in 3 (33%) respondents felt they were not adequately involved in decisions about their older relative’s care and treatment.

Poor communication is a factor in around one third of all complaints the Ombudsman service investigates about the NHS in England. …”


One thought on ““Older patients’ families struggle to complain about poor hospital care”

  1. “two-thirds (67%) of those who complained do not believe complaining makes a difference”

    This is NOT just about complaining, and whether it makes a difference. Complaints are a means of holding the NHS accountable for its performance, and if complaining makes no difference, this means that the NHS is NOT accountable.

    But I those of us who have been watching this crisis unfold are not going to be surprised to learn that complaining makes no difference…

    The front-line staff are probably doing their best under permanently over-worked and stressful conditions – difficult to see how complaining to them could fix it.

    The management are forcing through the cost cutting measures that are creating the problem knowing that this would be the outcome – so complaining to them won’t fix it either, and they will plead financial pressures.

    The Health Ombudsman can only make recommendations – which front-line staff cannot implement, whilst management can simply ignore them. Complaining to them will therefore make no difference – and in any case the Ombudsman is more on the side of the NHS than patients and will always give them the benefit of the doubt.

    You could complain to the SoS for Health, Jeremy “Thick” Hunt, but since he wants all this to happen, that would fall on deaf ears.

    TBH I am surprised that ONLY 67% believe that complaining will make no difference.

    SUMMARY: We should all be VERY worried by this example (though it is one of many) – not only because it is demonstrative of an NHS sinking further and further into crisis, but also because the LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY is a major indicator of a LOSS OF DEMOCRACY.


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