Complaints recorded against NHS in Scotland rise

Doctor and patient More than a quarter of complaints received about health care were fully upheld

Related Stories

There has been a 13% rise in complaints against the NHS in Scotland, according to figures released by the Scottish government.

There were 9,161 complaints about hospital and community health services in 2012/13, compared to 8,117 in 2011/12.

There has been a reduction, however, in complaints about GPs and dentists.

Health Secretary Alex Neil has insisted the health service "does a fantastic job" for most patients.

Of the complaints received in 2012/13, 28% were fully upheld, 35% were partially upheld and 36% were not upheld.

Start Quote

In an organisation of this size, care can sometimes fall below the standards we all demand”

End Quote Alex Neil Health Secretary

The report records only 61% of the complaints were dealt with within the national target of 20 working days.

Fewer complaints were recorded in the category of family health services, with a reduction of 13% in complaints about doctors and 30% fewer complaints about dentists.

Mr Neil commented: "Our health service does a fantastic job in the overwhelming number of cases."

He added: "In an organisation of this size, care can sometimes fall below the standards we all demand.

"In those cases I want to encourage patients to give us feedback, whether good or bad, so that health boards can continually improve the care they provide.

"These statistics demonstrate this is happening."

Scottish Conservative health spokesman and deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said the government should not be allowed to "fob this increase off" by saying it was being made easier to complain.

Start Quote

The rising number of complaints comes against a backdrop of falling staff numbers and struggling hospital wards”

End Quote Jackson Carlaw Tory health spokesman

He added: "The truth is the rising number of complaints comes against a backdrop of falling staff numbers and struggling hospital wards.

"Even though the health budget is protected, the SNP has slashed the number of nurses across Scotland, meaning those remaining have to pick up the slack.

"That has led to understaffing on wards, and the money the Scottish government thought it was saving being spent on agency and bank nurses to plug the gaps.

Labour's Richard Baker homed in on the rise of complaints for NHS Grampian.

He identified that the number stood at 976 in 2005/06 with 1,279 being recorded in 2012/13.

Mr Baker said: "These figures show what happens when SNP ministers do not fund our local health services properly and give our excellent local NHS staff the backing they need.

"Scottish Ministers claim to protect NHS services but these figures show the reality for patients."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Scotland politics stories

RSS

Features

  • Children in Africa graphicBaby steps

    Why are more children in Africa living beyond five?


  • Olive oil and olivesFood myth

    Did 1950s Britain get its olive oil from a pharmacy?


  • Rio Ferdinand and David Moyes'Playing to win'

    Memorable quotes from sporting autobiographies BBC Sport


  • Hand washing to contain Ebola in LiberiaEbola virus

    More action is needed to tackle Ebola, say experts


  • shadow of people kissing on grassOutdoor love

    Should the police intervene when people have sex in public?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.