The Department of Health today published statistics on complaint issues and compliments received by the six Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts during 2018/19. It also includes information on complaints against Family Practitioner Services in Northern Ireland for the year ending 31 March 2019.
This statistical release presents information on complaint issues and compliments received by HSC Trusts.
It details the number of HSC Trust complaint issues received, the programme of care (POC), category, subject and specialty of the complaint issue, along with the time taken to provide a substantive response to complaints received. Information on compliments received by HSC Trusts, has been included for the first time, and details the subject of the compliment and method by which the compliment was received.
Information is also presented on Family Practitioner Services complaints handled by the HSC Board.
The key findings presented in the statistics release are listed below.
Latest Year (2018/19):
- A total of 4,473 complaints, relating to 6,049 complaint issues, were received by HSC Trusts in 2018/19 (Tables 1 & 9); equating to 86 complaints per week or 12 complaints a day
- Almost 6 in 10 (3,626, 59.9%) complaint issues received during 2018/19 related to the ‘Acute’ POC (Table 2, Figure 3)
- During 2018/19, almost a third (1,920, 31.7%) of complaint issues concerned patient’s ‘Diagnosis/Operation/Treatment’ (Table 5)
- The highest percentage of complaint issues received in 2018/19 related to the ‘Accident & Emergency’ (691, 11.4%) specialty (Table 7)
- Of the 4,473 complaints received in 2018/19, the median age of the patient / client was 48.0 years (Figure 8)
- On average HSC Trusts took 31.8 working days to provide a substantive response to complaints received in 2018/19 (Table 9, Figure 13)
- During 2018/19, 16,757 compliments (via card, email, feedback form, letter or social media) were received by HSC Trusts in Northern Ireland
- Of the 16,757 compliments received, 8,489 (50.7%) related to 'Quality of Treatment & Care', 5,628 (33.6%) to 'Staff Attitude & Behaviour', 1,471 (8.8%) to 'Information & Communication', 497 (3.0%) to 'Environment', and 672 (4.0%) to 'Other' subjects
Last Five Years (2014/15 – 2018/19):
- Since 2014/15, the number of complaints issues received by HSC Trusts decreased by 13.8% (966), from 7,015 to 6,049 in 2018/19 (Table 1, Figure 2)
- Over the last five years all HSC Trusts, with the exception of the Western HSC Trust, reported a decrease in complaint issues received; however between 2017/18 and 2018/19, the Belfast and South Eastern HSC Trusts reported increases (330, 16.3% and 129, 11.3%, respectively) in complaint issues received (Table 1, Figure 2)
- Between 2014/15 and 2018/19, the largest reduction in the number of complaint issues (563, 13.4%) was observed in the ‘Acute’ POC (4,189 to 3,626) (Table 3)
- Complaints handled in 2018/19 against Family Practitioner Services increased by almost a third (77, 32.1%) compared to the previous year (240 in 2017/18) and only just remained below that reported in 2014/15 (326) (Table 10, Figure 14)
The information release is published on the Departmental website.
Notes to editors:
1. The information detailed in this publication is derived from two separate statistical returns provided by the six HSC Trusts including the Ambulance Service (NIAS), (i) complaints, and (ii) compliments received by HSC Trusts. It also includes information on FPS complaints derived from the HSC Board CHB statistical return.
2. This statistical bulletin provides information on the number of HSC Trust complaint issues received, the programme of care (POC), category, subject and specialty of the complaint issue. For complaints received it also provides details on the age of the patient / client, gender of the patient / client, relationship of the complainant to the patient / client, the method of complaint and the average number of working days to provide a substantive response to a complaint.
3. Information on compliments received by HSC Trusts is reported in this statistical bulletin for the first time, and includes information on the subject of the compliment and method by which the compliment was received.
4. All information has been validated with HSC Trusts and HSC Board, and incorporates all returns and amendments received up to 20th June 2019.
Further information on Complaint Issue statistics is available from:
Hospital Information Branch
Department of Health
Annexe 2, Castle Buildings
Stormont, BT4 3SQ
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