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CQC welcomes the Which? complaints report

13 March 2015
  • Public

The consumer group Which? today publishes a report about how complaints in public sector are handled.

Its report Make Complaints Count, which is welcomed by the Care Quality Commission, estimates that over five million people had a bad experience with a public service last year such as a school, hospital or care home, but did not complain.

It is also asking for better access and support to help people to complain. Some of the findings match our own investigation of how complaints about health and social care services are dealt with.  We found too much variation in the way complaints are handled.

Prof Sir Mike Richards, Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the Care Quality Commission, said: “The findings from Which? mirror our own recent investigation of the complaints system across health and adult social care in England. We found huge variation where people who raise concerns about NHS, primary care and adult social care services were often met with a defensive culture rather than one that listens and is willing to learn.

"A service that is safe, responsive and well-led will treat each concern as an opportunity to improve, will encourage its staff to raise concerns without the fear of any consequences and will respond openly and honestly to complaints. Our evidence suggests that services are not quite there yet, so more needs to be done to inspire an open culture in health and adult social care where concerns are welcomed and acted upon.

“We consider various information; including the number of complaints, to help us decide when and where to inspect. Serious concerns raised to us can lead to unannounced inspections.

"We have a role in supporting this change through our inspections. We will continue to hold health and adult social care services to the high standards that people both expect and deserve."

Last updated:
29 May 2017