The CQC has found that over the past 5 years, nearly 7 million people had concerns about their health or social care, but never raised them. And, over half of these people regretted not complaining.

The most common reasons for not raising a concern were:

  • not knowing how (20%)
  • not knowing who to raise it with (33%)
  • worries about being seen as a ‘troublemaker’ (33%)
  • worries about not people not taking them seriously (28%)

In addition, over a third of people (37%) felt that nothing would change as a result.

However, when people did raise a complaint, the majority found their issue was resolved quickly (66%). They were generally happy with the outcome and helped improve the service.

Here at Healthwatch, we can support and advise you on making a complaint about your care. If you would like to make a complaint about your care, please get in touch.

The majority of people who did raise a concern or complaint wanted to make sure that care improved for others. This included wanting to improve the care they, or a loved one, had received (61%) and improve care for everyone using the service (55%). A smaller number also hoped for an apology or explanation (26%).

The main concerns were delays to a service or appointment, lack of information and poor patient care. Additionally, over a fifth indicated that they were concerned about the lack of communication between health and care services.

Ian Trenholm, Chief Executive at the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said:

We know that when people raise a concern they have a genuine desire to improve the service for themselves and others. We also know that the majority of services really appreciate this feedback and make positive changes, as this new research shows.

Minister of State for Care, Caroline Dinenage said:

We want the NHS and social care system to provide the safest, most compassionate care in the world. This means encouraging patients to speak up with concerns, ensuring we act on them and learning from what happened so we can do better in future.

Imelda Redmond, National Director of Healthwatch England said:

We know that the best way to encourage people to come forward is to highlight the difference feedback makes to the way services are run. It may only be something seemingly small, like a change to the menu in a care home canteen, but to the people being cared for it is important to see their views resulting in change.

Setting a positive culture around feedback is a vital part of ensuring that when more serious incidents arise, these too are put right and learnt from.

You can give feedback on any local health and social care service on our site. Just find the service by using the search bar below, or get in touch.

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Published on 20 Feb, 2019 (updated 29 Mar, 2019)

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3 comments on "New research shows people regret not raising concerns about their care"

  • Commenter said on 9th November 2019

    At tactic adopted by some care homes to stop complaints is banning families who raise concerns from visiting or even evicting their loved ones. Hundreds of residential homes have been acting unfairly against relatives who have legitimate worries about the quality of care.
    Raising concerns about the quality of care being provided should never carry with it the threat of eviction.
    The balance of power is totally weighed against the relative raising concerns.

  • Commenter said on 23rd April 2020

    Put care homes chiefs in the dock – that’s what I say.
    More than 85% of Britain’s care homes are privately run for profit – it costs an average of £50,000 a year to live in one – apart from homes run by local authorities. The carers at these homes are paid low wages in order to maximise their owners’ profits. Carers should be complaining as well as relatives families.

  • Commenter said on 18th June 2020

    My family complained to the CQC about poor care in a Nursing Home. The CQC turned up the day we were visiting our relative. We spoke to an Inspector about a concern that we had and were promised a call back but heard nothing. When we chased it up a few weeks later we were told by the CQC that they could not discuss the matter with us or tell us whether they had looked into the matter with the Nursing Home. What a joke. On another matter what a disgrace it is that the CQC are not inspecting care homes during the pandemic. Who is looking out for our elderly and vulnerable now? We can’t as we can no longer visit!

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