Statistical Press Release - Complaints received by HSC Trusts, Board and Family Practitioner Services in NI (2015/16)

Date published: 20 July 2016

The Department of Health today published statistics on complaint issues received by the six Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts, the HSC Board and Family Practitioner Services within the north of Ireland for the year ending 31 March 2016.

This statistical release presents information on complaint issues received by HSC Trusts. It details the number of HSC Trust complaint issues received, by the programme of care, category, subject, specialty of the complaint and the time taken to provide a substantive response.

Key Points

The key findings presented in the statistics release are listed below.

Latest Year (2015/16):

  • During 2015/16, HSC Trusts received 4,477 complaints relating to 6,181 complaint issues (Tables 1 & 5, Figure 1)
  • Three fifths (3,666, 59.3%), of complaint issues received during 2015/16 related to the Acute POC (Tables 2 & 3, Figure 3)
  • One in nine (683, 11.0%) complaint issues received by HSC Trusts in 2015/16 related to the ‘Accident & Emergency’ specialty (Appendix 4)
  • Of the 4,477 complaints received in 2015/16, the median age of the patient / client was 51.0 years (Figure 7)
  • On average HSC Trusts took 24.1 working days to provide a substantive response to complaints received in 2015/16 (Table 5, Figure 11)

Last Five Years (2011/12 – 2015/16):

  • Between 2011/12 and 2014/15, the number of complaint issues received by HSC Trusts increased by 1,530 (27.9%), but decreased by 834 (11.9%) since 2014/15 to 6,181 in 2015/16 (Table 1, Figure 1)
  • Between 2011/12 and 2015/16, the number of complaint issues received relating to the Acute POC increased by 273 (8.0%), from 3,393 to 3,666 (Table 2)
  • Since 2011/12, the number of complaint issues received increased in three HSC Trusts, with Western HSC Trust reporting the most notable increase (425, 91.0%), from 467 to 892 in 2015/16. (Table 1, Figure 1)
  • During 2015/16, three in ten (1,905, 30.8%) complaint issues received related to the ‘Diagnosis/Operation/Treatment’ category (Appendix 2)

The information release is published on the Departmental website.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The information detailed in this publication is derived from the Departmental CH8 - Revised statistical return provided by the six HSC Trusts including the Ambulance Service (NIAS). It also includes information on HSC Board and FPS complaints derived from the HSC Board CHB statistical return.
  2. This statistical bulletin is the first to be based on information collected from the CH8 Revised return, which not only collects information previously collected on the POC and subject of the complaint issue in the aggregate CH8 return, but also includes information on: complaint issues received by specialty, age of the patient / client, sex 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. All information has been validated with HSC Trusts and Board, and incorporates all returns and amendments received up to 14th July 2016.

    Further information on Complaint Issue statistics is available from:

    Hospital Information Branch
    Department of Health
    Annexe 2, Castle Buildings
    Stormont, BT4 3SQ
    Tel:  028 90 520064
    Fax: 028 90 523288

    Internet: Department of Health

  4. Media queries to DoH Information Office on 02890 520 579, or out of hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt

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