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Be aware of your rights in the NHS.

THE NHS provides excellent care to thousands of people day in, day out. We all have an understanding of the pressures the NHS faces, but this should not stop people from speaking up when things go wrong.

Data published last week by NHS Digital revealed that there were 208,400 complaints about the NHS in 2016-17. However, all too often, patients and their families are not fully aware of their rights. The NHS Constitution states that everyone has the right to complain, to have their complaint acknowledged within three working days, and to have the matter investigated.

It is important that patients are also aware that if they are dissatisfied with the way in which their complaint is handled, they have the right to contact us - the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) - for an independent and impartial view.

Where the PHSO upholds complaints, we recommend that the NHS puts things right by offering an appropriate remedy. This might be an apology, a financial remedy, the creation of action plans to ensure mistakes are not repeated, the introduction of additional staff training, or changes to procedures.

We see a wide variation in the quality of NHS complaint handling so it is imperative that people are not afraid to complain when mistakes are made.

Rob Behrens Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Sep 21, 2017
Words:220
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