When the government published Hard Truths, its response to Robert Francis’ inquiry into the failings at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) and Healthwatch England committed to developing a user-led ‘vision’ of the complaints system.
This vision aims to align the health and social care sector on what good looks like from the user perspective when raising concerns and complaints about health and social care. It also allows measurement of progress so that organisations can determine the action they need to take to improve.
We are pleased to share this report, which sets out the outcome of that work, and the evidence base that supports it. It demonstrates the powerful contribution that users of services can make when they have the opportunity to contribute to the design of what ‘good’ looks like. It builds on the work that has gone before, carried out by organisations such as the Patients Association and National Voices.
The vision forms part of Healthwatch England’s wider programme of work on complaints, including our report: Suffering in Silence, released in October which includes a series of recommendations for structural reform in complaint handling, and work to improve standards in health and social care complaints advocacy. We will also use the vision to support our national and local influencing work.