DoH simplifies complaint process

A pilot scheme has been arranged for a simplified complaints system for health and social care in England, the DoH has announced.

The plans will allow patients to complain about their care directly to their PCT rather than their GP.

One early adopter site in each SHA will trial the new procedure for six months before it is implemented nationally in April 2009.

Health complaints will be resolved locally or passed on to the Health Service Ombudsman.

Under the current system complaints can be passed between the health provider and the Healthcare Commission.

It can be even more difficult when the patient uses a mixture of health and social care services.

Health minister Ann Keen said the current system was confusing and patients were worried about damaging their relationship with their GP.

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