Back to index

The Human Cost of Poor Complaints Handling

by Eskimo Commands | Posted in Complaints management solutions | 26 August 2015
The Human Cost of Poor Complaints Handling

'Complaints provide an opportunity for learning and improvements and should be embraced at all levels of the organisation from the Board to the frontline.'

These were the wise words of Julie Mellor, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, following the publication of a report that showed the impact on the public of poor complaints handling by the NHS and other UK government departments.

This is what Workpro also believes. We think organisations need to be able to properly manage and resolve complaints and also have the capability to analyse them so they can learn and improve.

And the report certainly showed a picture of complaints handling that suggests there is serious room for improvement.

In fact it concluded that almost half of all complaints about the NHS in England were about or partially about dissatisfaction in how complaints were handled.

The report, published last week, was just a snapshot of the total complaints dealt with during December 2014 and January 2015.

It looked at 121 complaints, including the cases of three people whose deaths could have been avoided.

They included a man with learning disabilities who died after a series of failures in care and a lack of consideration for his rights as a disabled person. His sisters received £10,000 in compensation.

In another case a man’s wife was awarded £15,000 in compensation after he died when GPs failed to identiy a blood clot on his lungs.

Julie Mellor said the report showed “the types of unresolved complaints we receive and the human cost of that poor service and complaint handling.”

And she went on to say: “Many of the complaints that come to us should have been resolved by the organisation complained about. Complaints provide an opportunity for learning and improvements and should be embraced at all levels of the organisation from the Board to the frontline.'

The report emphasises why it is so crucial for organisations like the NHS to have good, sensitive and thorough systems in place for dealing with complaints. Families and loved ones suffer unnecessarily when complaints are handled badly.

It creates a picture that suggests the NHS and other government agencies could significantly improve their complaints handling process, thereby vastly improving their relationship with the public and possibly saving large amounts of money in compensation payments.

This is exactly where Workpro’s expertise lies. Our technology makes the process of managing and handling sensitive and confidential complaints simple, fast and consistent. Contact us for more information.

comments powered by Disqus