Huge rise in complaints about mental health care made to NHS

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Posted on 30/08/2013

Written complaints to the NHS about mental health care have shot up over the last few years, according to new figures from the HSCIC.

New data released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has revealed that written complaints specifically relating to mental health services have shot up from 9,587 in 2009-10 to 11,749 in 2012-13 – an increase of almost 28 per cent.

Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, said:

"These figures are concerning, but there could be a number of reasons behind the increase in complaints. The fact that there have been more complaints about mental health services could be down to the funding cuts many services have faced, with people facing long waiting times to access treatments or having to travel further for support. Alternatively, it could be that the complaints procedure is clearer and easier, encouraging more people to provide feedback on their treatment. 

Our recent crisis care campaign* found that people are far from happy with crisis services, with few crisis care options and staff shortages commonplace within a number of Trusts across England. 

An inpatient survey for mental health could help the NHS understand what is going on and why people might be complaining. These valuable comments could then be used to improve services. We want to see individuals offered a wide range of quality treatments and services; with patients consulted throughout the process."

-Ends-

Notes to Editors:

 * See this section of our website for more information

  • Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. www.mind.org.uk 

  • Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.
  • Mind’s Infoline is on 0300 123 3393 and the Legal Line is on 0300 466 6463. The helplines are open Monday – Friday 9am – 6pm.

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