New research* shows that over a quarter of people (339/ 17%) in Greater London who have accessed health or social care services, in the last five years have had concerns about their care, but never raised them. Of these, over half (64%) expressed regret about not doing so.
Why are concerns not raised by the public?
The most common reasons for not raising a concern were not knowing how (18%) or who (35%) to raise it with, not wanting to be seen as a ‘troublemaker’ (33%) and worries about not being taken seriously (28%). 14 of people (30%) felt that nothing would change as a result.
However, when people did raise a concern or complaint, the majority in Greater London (69%) found their issue was resolved quickly, it helped the service to improve and they were happy with the outcome.
The research is being published today by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to mark the launch of their ‘Declare Your Care’ campaign. The campaign is encouraging people to share their experiences of care with CQC to support its work to improve standards of care in England.
What motivates people to raise concerns?
The majority of people in Greater London who did raise a concern or complaint were motivated by a desire to make sure that care improved for others. This included wanting to improve the care they, or a loved one, had received (66%) and improve care for everyone using the service (63%) with a smaller number also hoping for an apology or explanation (24%).
The main reasons given for raising, or wanting to raise a concern, were delays to a service or appointment, lack of information and poor patient care. Additionally, 23% or almost a quarter indicated that they have raised or wanted to raise concerns about the lack of communication between health and care services.
“Our annual State of Care report shows that most people are getting good care, a real testament to the hard work of the many people working across Health and Social Care in this country.
“We know that when people raise a concern they have a genuine desire to improve the service for themselves and others. We also know that the majority of services really appreciate this feedback and make positive changes, as this new research shows.
“Hearing from people about their experiences of care is an important part of our inspection work and contributes to driving improvements in standards of care. Everyone can play a part in improving care by directly giving feedback to services, or by sharing information and experiences with us so that we can take action when we find poor care. Sharing your experience also enables us to highlight the many great examples of care we see.”
What can Healthwatch Hillingdon do?
Here at Healthwatch we can advise and guide members of the public on what the pathways for complaints are, how to navigate the processes and where additional help and advocacy is available in the borough. We can signpost you to other services and support networks, and ensure your experiences are fed back to the relevant organisations to help improve health and social care.
About the Care Quality Commission
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive care, and we encourage care services to improve. We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.