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'Patients face hurdles'.

PEOPLE face too many obstacles when trying to complain about NHS or social care, a report has said.

The handling of complaints takes too long, people are not always sure who to complain to and there is a lack of learning across the NHS when things go wrong, it said.

Just 5% of people who are dissatisfied with their NHS care lodge a formal complaint.

Karen Taylor, from the National Audit Office, which compiled the study, said: "The main reason people don't complain, whether in NHS or social care, is that they don't think anything will be done."

She said complaining required persistence, perseverance and "real strength", which some people did not have, especially if they were in hospital or recovering from an illness.

Ms Taylor said the NHS and the social care system faced challenges over the introduction of a new regulator, the Care Quality Commission, next year, when a single complaints system also comes into force.
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 11, 2008
Words:158
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