NHS England and Improvement have announced changes to the NHS’s complaints process during the coronavirus emergency.
Individual NHS organisations are being told to ensure complaints are still taken, and monitored for patient safety issues. However, NHS organisations have been given latitude over whether they launch full investigation processes in the short term, and being advised to ‘manage expectations’ about investigations being launched. Complaints that are logged will remain open until further notice.
The advice to NHS providers also says that where patients have been waiting over six months for a resolution to their complaint, consideration should be given now to making an effort to see if the complaint can be resolved.
NHS England and Improvement have announced that they will be advising NHS bodies to end their 'pause' in complaints handling from 1 July onwards.
Similarly, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) reduced its complaints-handling activity during the emergency period. It is not accepting new complaints, and its helpline is temporarily closed. PHSO has announced that it will recommence work on existing complaints, and begin accepting new ones from 1 July.
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Source: The Patients Association, 15 June 2020