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Friday, May 02, 2014

NHS complaints soar in Wales

Today's Western Mail reports that there has been a dramatic rise in the number of hospital complaints in Wales in the past five years.

They say that figures show that the number of patient complaints made in recent years has significantly increased in all health boards, with some organisations seeing the figure rise by more than 100%. Between 2009-2010 and 2012-2013, the all Wales total for complaints increased by more than 40%:

Cardiff and Vale UHB, which runs Wales’ largest hospital, the University Hospital of Wales, received the most complaints in 2012-2013, with the total standing at 1,883 – up 114% from 2008-2009.

ABMU Health Board saw a rise of 188% between 2009-2013, from 298 complaints to 858.

Between 2008-2009 and 2012-2013, Aneurin Bevan UHB saw an increase of 56%, Hywel Dda UHB recorded a rise of 36%, Cwm Taf UHB recorded a 32% increase and Powys Teaching Health Board had a 16% increase. Between 2011-2012 and 2013-2014, Betsi Cadwaladr UHB saw complaints rise by 19%.

An increase in complaints of course does not necessarily mean a worse performance on the part of the Welsh health service. It could indicate a greater awareness of the procedure, particularly given the new role assumed by the Public Services Ombudsman in taking on these issues.

Nevertheless it is a worrying trend and one that merits further analysis.
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