Patient involvement and complaints systems investigates the importance of Clinical Commissioning Groups using complainant feedback to improve the quality of their complaints systems.
Healthwatch England report that there is no clear way for people to provide feedback about their
experiences of the health and social care complaints systems.
Similarly, Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) do not routinely seek feedback regarding their complaints systems.
This may result in these systems not being as effective as they might otherwise be.
There are a number of barriers that CCGs need to overcome to start collecting and using this type of
feedback. These include:
- NHS England does not measure CCGs on the quality of their complaints systems.
- Hearing negative feedback potentially carries a risk of reduced reputation and therefore damage to the CCG.
- There is an extra cost of introducing a feedback system.
- A feedback system may result in additional targets.
- A more lengthy and resource heavy complaints process.
There may be a number of benefits to the CCG hearing and using complainant’s feedback (about the
complaints system). These include:
- Improved complainant satisfaction with the CCG, avoiding wastage of resources and reputational risk.
- Helping patients to stay engaged with a provider whose service they are complaining about.
We recommend that the Birmingham CCGs include such a feedback loop in their complaints policies.
We are pleased that the CCGs are exploring how they may routinely collect and use feedback about
their complaints systems. However, in order to use this feedback it is important that the complaints
teams have the flexibility to update their systems, based on the feedback of complainants. This will
help Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, and from next year Birmingham and Solihull CCG (BSol
CCG), to provide an excellent cost-effective service to complainants.
In addition, we look to NHS England Midlands and East, who regulate the Birmingham CCGs, to seek
assurance that CCG complaint systems are of high quality. We ask them to measure the quality of
CCG complaints systems and to stress the importance of using complainant feedback to improve