Saturday 22 October 2016

Patients are too afraid to complain about hospital care

Peter Tyndall
Peter Tyndall

Patients are afraid to complain about the care they receive in hospitals, an investigation has found.

Ombudsman Peter Tyndall's investigation found that people are afraid to complain because of concerns over possible repercussions for themselves or their loved ones.

The investigation also found they don't complain as they don't believe it will make a difference.

Complaints to the Ombudsman about healthcare represent just 20pc of all complaints received, which is low compared with other jurisdictions.

Mr Tyndall recommended that the HSE and each hospital put an action plan in place to make it easy for people to complain.

The Irish Society for Quality and Safety in Healthcare (ISQSH) said it "has continually highlighted that the complaints system within the HSE is failing patients," having conducted its own surveys.

A HSE spokesperson said it has 801 complaints officers and welcomed the Ombudsman's report, stating it is a valuable platform for improving its complaints system.

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