A review into NHS complaints processes has been launched today by the secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt.
It will make recommendations about; how patients can make concerns known; the way organisations receive and act on complaints; how Boards and managers carry out their functions; and how individual organisations are held to account in complaint handling.
The review will be led by Ann Clwyd, MP for Cynon Valley, and Professor Tricia Hart, chief executive of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and advisor to Robert Francis during his two inquiries into the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust.
Hunt said: "Complaints can be the earliest symptom of a problem within an organisation and the NHS should use them to learn from and improve their service.
"Ann Clwyd and Tricia Hart have a wealth of experience between them and I look forward to their recommendations about how we can introduce a much more rigorous and effective system for handling complaints across the NHS."
The review will consult patients, carers and representatives, staff and managers and other organisations involved in complaint handling to establish current Trust systems.
It will identify existing best practice for handling complaints and develop a set of common standards by which all NHS hospitals can be assessed on and held to account.
Clwyd said: "We all hope that when we go into hospital the care we receive will not give us cause to complain. However when something does go wrong, it must be easy for patients and their carers to speak up, without fear.
"I am determined that the result of this review will be a system that ensures that any complaint or concern that patients or whistleblowers make will be listened to and acted upon."
The Review Team will report to the secretary of state for health by the Parliamentary summer recess.
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