§ 28. Mr. Kilfoyle
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the national health service complaints procedure.
§ Mr. Sackville
We keep the hospital and family health service complaints procedure under review, and are encouraging management and staff to respond more positively to oral and written complaints. The procedure was last updated by the patients charter, which introduced the right to have any complaint about NHS services investigated and to receive a full and prompt written reply from the chief executive or general manager. Authorities will also have to record the number of complaints received and the response time. We are looking at ways to make complaints procedures more friendly and responsive to the needs of individual patients.