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Response to NHS Digital’s publication of statistics on NHS written complaints 2017-18

We have issued the following statement to national, trade and regional press following NHS Digital’s annual publication of statistics on NHS written complaints today. Overall complaints rose slightly compared to last year (208,626, up 0.1 per cent on last year). Data showed a rise in complaints about primary care (4.5 per cent) and a drop in complaints about secondary care (3.3 per cent). The data is here Data on Written Complaints in the NHS, 2017-18.

In response to the publication today of Data on Written Complaints in the NHS, 2017-18 by NHS Digital,

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Robert Behrens said:

'NHS staff are working under immense pressure. It is a credit to them that the data does not show a significant increase in complaints overall. 

The NHS complaints process is an essential channel to improving public services and we encourage people to speak up when things go wrong.

We owe it to the NHS’s dedicated and skilled workforce to talk about mistakes in an open and transparent way enabling organisations to learn from them, make improvements and ensure they are not repeated.'