People are being encouraged to speak about their experiences of care as part of a campaign to improve standards in England.
Research by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) suggests almost seven million people who have accessed health or social care services in the last five years have had concerns about their care, but never raised them. Of these, over half (58%) regretted not doing so.
Reasons for not raising a concern were not knowing how (20%) or who (33%) to raise it with, not wanting to be a ‘troublemaker’ (33%) and worries about not being taken seriously (28%). Over a third of people (37%) felt that nothing would change.
The figures are based on consumer research with 2,002 people in England.
When people did raise a concern or complaint, the majority (66%) found their issue was resolved quickly, helping the service to improve.
The main reasons given for raising, or wanting to raise a concern, were delays to a service or appointment, lack of information and poor patient care. Over a fifth indicated that they had raised or wanted to raise concerns about the lack of communication between health and care services.
The CQC campaign is encouraging people to share their experiences of care with the regulator.
Ian Trenholm, CQC chief executive, 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.
‘Everyone can play a part in improving care by directly giving feedback to services, or by sharing information and experiences with us so that we can take action when we find poor care. Sharing your experience also enables us to highlight the many great examples of care we see.’
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.’
George McNamara, director of policy and influencing at Independent Age, said: ‘It’s vital that people feel empowered to speak up where they have concerns. We support the CQC’s call for people to share their experience of care. This will help the CQC to get the best possible data, so that any lapses in care standards receive a swift response.’