Health Select Committee publishes report on Complaints and Litigation

On Monday 27 June 2011, the House of Commons Health Select Committee, of which Valerie is a member, published its report into Complaints and Litigation.


The Committee found that the current complaints system is not effective, and called for an overhaul of the role of the Health Service Ombudsman.  The report said  that there is too much variation in the way complaints procedures operate in the NHS, and  that there needs to be more effective reporting.  The committee recommends that NHS providers should publish regular Complaints Action Plans to ensure that weaknesses are monitored and addressed in a timely manner.  The committee also recommends that there should be a review of the regulatory framework governing claims management companies.


Valerie said:

“The Government need to be clear about how complaints will be handled under the proposals of the Health and Social Care Bill.  It is important that the information gathered during complaints procedures is properly reported and analysed, in order to avoid systematic weaknesses being overlooked. 


“With the Government planning to reduce access to legal aid for clinical negliagence cases, it is important to consider how this will affect litigation costs for the NHS, as well as  access to justice.  I hope that the Government will take the Committee’s recommendations on board and improve the way that complaints are handled and reported, in order to ensure that failings in the system do not fall under the radar.”


The complete report is available here.