The Department of Health today published statistics on complaint issues and compliments received by the six Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts during 2020/21.
It also includes information on complaints against Family Practitioner Services in Northern Ireland for the year ending 31 March 2021.
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 provides details on 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 (2020/21)
- A total of 3,292 complaints, relating to 5,005 complaint issues, were received by HSC Trusts in 2020/21 (Tables 1 & 9); equating to 63 complaints per week or approximately 9 complaints per day.
- Over half (2,695, 53.8%) of complaint issues received during 2020/21 related to the ‘Acute’ POC (Table 2, Figure 3).
- During 2020/21, the highest number (1,631, 32.6%) of complaint issues related to a patient’s ‘Diagnosis/Operation/Treatment’ (Table 5).
- The highest percentage of complaint issues received in 2020/21 related to the ‘General Medicine’ (635, 12.7%) specialty (Table 7).
- Of the 3,292 complaints received in 2020/21, the median age of the patient / client was 46.5 years (Figure 8).
- On average HSC Trusts took 31.4 working days to provide a substantive response to complaints received in 2020/21 (Table 9, Figure 13).
- During 2020/21, 14,683 compliments (via card, email, feedback form, care opinion, letter, social media or telephone) were received by HSC Trusts in Northern Ireland.
- Of the 14,683 compliments received, 8,675 (59.1%) related to ‘Quality of Treatment & Care’, 3,913 (26.6%) to ‘Staff Attitude & Behaviour’, 1,149 (7.8%) to ‘Information & Communication’, 578 (3.9%) to ‘Environment’, and 368 (2.5%) to ‘Other’ subjects (Table 15, Figure 20).
Last Five Years (2016/17 – 2020/21)
- Since 2016/17, the number of complaint issues received by HSC Trusts decreased by 19.1%, from 6,189 to 5,005 in 2020/21 (Table 1, Figure 2).
- Over the last five years, five of the six HSC Trusts reported a decrease in the number of complaint issues received; the largest decrease (47.1%) reported by the Western Trust (Table 1, Figure 2).
- Between 2016/17 and 2020/21, the largest increase in the number of complaint issues (65, 14.2%) was reported in the ‘Family and Child Care’ POC (459 to 524) (Table 3).
- Complaints issues relating to Family Practitioner Services decreased by almost a third (75, 30.1%) in 2020/21 compared to the 2016/17 year (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 CH8 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 reports 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 8 September 2021.
5. The ‘Complaints and Compliments Received by HSC Trusts in Northern Ireland (2020/21)’ publication was originally due to be published on 8 July 2021 but was delayed due to pressures associated with the COVID-19 outbreak.
6. Further information on Complaint Issue statistics is available from:
Hospital Information Branch
Department of Health
Annexe 2, Castle Buildings
Stormont, BT4 3SQ
7. For media enquiries please contact DoH Press Office by email:email@example.com
8. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt
9. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
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