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Review of NHS complaints process launched in Wales

The way complaints are dealt with by the NHS in Wales is to be reviewed, the Welsh government has announced.

A 12-week review will examine the current process for dealing with patients’ concerns, in a bid to establish what is working well what needs to improve.

It will also consider whether there is sufficiently clear leadership, accountability and openness within the process and how the NHS can learn from other industries.

Former Panasonic UK chief executive Keith Evans will lead the review, supported by Andrew Goodall, chief executive of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.

They will look at how staff are supported to deal with patient feedback and how the NHS in Wales can show that it is learning from this information.

Announcing the move, Welsh health minister Mark Drakeford said: “The vast majority of people tell us they are happy with the care provided by the health service in Wales, and a positive experience is the norm. However, when things don’t happen as they should, the NHS in Wales must listen, learn and take action.”

Mark Drakeford

Mark Drakeford

Mr Drakeford said the current system for handling complaints, based on the principle of ‘investigate once, investigate well’ was nearly three years old.

He added: “It is therefore timely that we review how well the NHS in Wales handles concerns and build on the progress already made.

“I am keen that we learn from those with a track record in excellent customer care in other sectors. I have therefore asked Keith Evans to lead this review, which will begin immediately and report back to me after three months of investigation.”

The National Survey for Wales, published in May last year, found that 92% of people who had seen a GP in the last 12 months and 92% of people who had a hospital appointment were fairly or very satisfied with the care they had received.

Some 97% of people who saw a GP agreed that they were treated with dignity and respect, while 95% of people who attended a hospital appointment said the same.

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