Consultation on health and social care complaints.

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Stephen Johnson, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. Consultation on health and social care complaints

    On Monday 18th June the Department of Health launched a consultation paper on a new approach to dealing with complaints in health and social care which will make it easier for people to complain when things go wrong.

    It will make the whole experience of making a complaint easier, more user-friendly, cooperative and much more responsive to people's needs, involving an independent element where required. And it emphasises that health and social care services should routinely learn from complaints, feeding into service improvement.

    Currently there are separate complaints procedures for health and adult social care which make it particularly difficult for people who use a combination of services to make a complaint or for those services to respond. There are also different arrangements for children's complaints.

    The different systems are not easy for people to understand and are seen as lengthy and bureaucratic. Some people feel too intimidated, or worried about the potential impact a complaint may have on their relationship with their social worker or GP. As a result people may choose not to complain, problems are not dealt with and an opportunity for learning is lost.

    The consultation document sets out a new more locally focussed system, one where it is in the interests of health and social care organisations to listen to people's experiences, be more openly responsive and improve services accordingly.

    The new unified health and social care arrangements aim to:
    resolve complaints locally - there will be a more personal and flexible approach to handling complaints;
    ensure early and effective resolution, and robust handling of all cases not just those which are more complex;
    make sure people with complaints have access to effective support - this is particularly important for people who find it difficult to make their views heard;
    give people the option of going direct to their primary care trust with a complaint about their GP, instead of complaining directly to the GP;
    give people the option of going direct to their local authority with a complaint where the care has been arranged by the local authority;
    ensure organisations improve the services they provide by routinely learning from people's experiences.

    With the emphasis on effective and robust resolution and with independence available through the Ombudsmen, the additional independent review of complaints handling, currently carried out by the Healthcare Commission will no longer be necessary.

    The Health Service Ombudsman considers complaints about poor treatment or services provided through the NHS in England. She is independent and impartial and her services are free.

    Ann Abraham, Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman, and Tony Redmond, Local Government Ombudsman said:

    "The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and the Local Government Ombudsmen together welcome this commitment to develop an integrated health and social care complaints approach. It marks a significant step towards the delivery of a modern, responsive, complaints system, aimed at improving services for all patients and service users."

    Health Minister, Lord Hunt said;

    "The vast majority of people who use health and social care services are happy with the care and treatment that they receive. Where people do have a complaint we must make sure its as straightforward as possible

    "However, we know from recent research that people find the current complaints procedures hard to understand which is why we are consulting on a radical new unified approach across health and social care. This streamlined approach will remove the need to follow a rigid set of procedures in every case to enable more open, flexible and responsive complaints handling.

    "It makes sense for everyone to now use a more locally based system for complaints, one that the public feel they can trust because it is in health and social care providers' interests to be more accountable to their local communities. At the same time health and social care providers will be monitored to check they are dealing with complaints satisfactorily.

    "We have committed to implementing a single, comprehensive complaints process across health and social care which better reflects the way in which services are provided and people use them. We recognise the problems with the current arrangements and are determined to make sure that the new arrangements are simple, effective and flexible to meet the needs of people using them. We recognise that the people who rely most on services are often the people least able to voice their concerns and are committed to ensuring that in future their voice will be supported through a right to advocacy. We want to ensure organisations take complaints seriously and that the Boards within those organisations understand both the benefit of dealing with complaints effectively and the consequences if they don't. "

    Paul Snell, Chief Inspector of CSCI said

    "CSCI welcomes debate on a more coherent and better integrated system of handling complaints across health and social care. People who use services deserve a system that is easier to use and more responsive to their needs and we look forward to contributing to the consultation to achieve this."

    Anna Walker, Chief Executive of the Healthcare Commission, said:

    "We welcome and fully support any initiative that ensures that patients and the public get quicker and local resolution to their complaints - that iswhat they tell us they want. The Commission has been highlighting this feedback for some time.

    "It is therefore right to consider a system that requires healthcare and social care organisations to handle complaints better and with one, not two, independent appeals processes."

    Primary care trusts and local authority social services, which make arrangements locally for services to be provided, (service commissioners), will have a major role to ensure that services they commission have effective complaints processes in place and are delivered to a high standard. Commissioners will also want to see that the lessons learnt from complaints feed into continuous improvement of the quality of services. This will include: putting people at the centre of planning and designing the services they commission; understanding the needs of populations and individuals; and sharing and using information - such as from complaints - more effectively.

    The initial consultation will run for four months and close on 17th October 2007. Following that, the Department of Health will present a framework outlining the next steps.

    http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Consultations/Liveconsultations/DH_075652



    Kind Regards,



    Stephen (Johnson).
     
  2. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    That sounds a great idea, I can't understand why it hasn't been thought of before. At last someone is thinking about carers.:)

    How is your brother?
     
  3. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Hmm. I wonder how they'll deal with the stumbling block I have experienced in the past when attempting to make a complaint: obtaining consent from the dementia sufferer. Although I have had had no problem getting medical staff to talk to me, in order to make even an informal complaint, if the person is alive, you need a signed letter of consent from them (if they're dead a death certificate will do).
     
  4. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Jennifer, will not the Welfare POA address this?
     
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    One would hope. Not much use though for those of us whose family members are already past the point of making such an instrument. I suppose I'm feeling rather cynical: if they spent less money on bureaucracy, they might be able to fix the problems before they occur, so there would be less need TO complain. Just ignore me - I'm feel a bit "doom and gloom" today.
     
  6. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #6 Margarita, Jun 22, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2007




    Does that not Cover this in what you said jennifer ?

    Are we not they advocate ! (advocacy on behalf of a person)

    So they have thought about it :confused: ?
     
  7. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    39,438
    Maggie: I'll believe it when I see it. Let's face it, the way the law is written at the moment if you don't have consent from the patient to discuss the patient's care, they aren't supposed to discuss it with you. Now often they will face to face, but getting something on paper without that consent? I doubt it.

    Jennifer
     
  8. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    1,342
    I thought an advocate had to be someone outside the family
     
  9. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    10,824
    london
    #9 Margarita, Jun 22, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2007

    I know I am only Just finding that out , was taking about it only today with someone, I was thinking that I better get all that sorted out with my brother .

    For my mother its OK , because Doctor Knows me and they a letter with her notes that I am her carer.

    That why its good to bring awareness now to people that are newly Diagnosed with AZ, to get written consent from them to be put in they Doctors File

    Why would you think that lila ?
     
  10. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    1,342
    Like a witness (to a will etc.). An advocate should be someone who isn't involved, hasn't got a vested interest or a personal axe to grind.
     

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