What is the most common complaint raised by NHS patients? It's nothing to do with medical problems - we just want to hear the words "I'm sorry"

 
James Nickerson
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The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman released the data to improve transparency (Source: Getty)

In true British fashion, the most common complaint raised by NHS England patients is the lack of a good enough apology, according to a report released today.


The report by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) showed one third of complaints at NHS acute trusts were to do with giving a poor apology for any situation that arose in 2014-15.

Read more: How to put patients at the heart of the NHS

The second most-commonly cited reason is that complainants feel the response they received in reply to their query "contained factual errors; was not evidence based; or was incomplete".

Overall staff attitude accounted for a fifth of complaints, and one-tenth of complaints were because mistakes were not acknowledged. In fact, the report said "non-medical aspects of patient care factor in just under half of those complaints made".


The data was released as part of a drive to provide greater transparency, in order to drive up standards and identify problems.

The PHSO makes the final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England and investigated 1,652 complaints made in 2014-15, upholding 726 of them.

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