Do some patients and relatives find the NHS Complaints Process harmful to their mental health?

mike stone 09/08/19 Dignity Champions forum

I posted a Poll on Twitter yesterday (sorry but I can't give you the necessary link to the Poll - since Twitter 'changed' a couple of weeks ago, I can't figure out how to get the URLs to tweets: which I'm finding very annoying!).

The 'background', is a comment a palliative care doctor recently sent to me in an e-mail: I intend to write something about what was sent to me, and about things other people have told me on the same topic, and I've decided to do that in this thread, but later - after I've got the results of the Twitter Poll and have harvested any comments to the poll, which I will 'transfer' over to this thread.

I'll show you what I asked in the Poll on Twitter, and I would be interested in any replies to the same question here on DiC as well - this is the Poll on Twitter:

Is it fair to say, that some of the patients and relatives who formally complain to the NHS, subsequently get the impression that the NHS Complaints Process is deliberately designed to damage their mental health? Please retweet.



Post a reply

Neil Purcell 09/08/19

No have always found explanations clear and have asked if I'm not sure .

kevin SLATER 10/08/19

i find this post extremely strange as i do not think it is within the remit of the NHS systems to advocate anything that would affect a persons mental health,unless that person already has a mental health issue, I have always found the process mostly clear and precise and as Neil has said if in doubt ask!

Mike Llywelyn Cox 11/08/19

All NHS complaints are made through PALS (Patient Liason Service). This is an organisation which sits inside every Trust and is organised, paid and managed by the Trust. Their status is said (by the NHS) to be independent. This is like having to make a grievance or complaint about your employing organisation to your employer. The same applies to secondary mental health services. The point of the original post is that the stress of having to make a complaint in these circumstances can adversely affect a person's mental health

mike stone 16/08/19

I explain in the PDF, the background to my Twitter Poll: it stemmed from a doctor telling me that my e-mails sometimes cause mental health issues for the clinicians who receive them.

As I point out in my PDF: this is not only a complex issue, but ‘it also works both ways’.

Comments to my Twitter Poll, were:

Edward Ward NHS

I worked in a PCT whose office was in the Town Centre. People with concerns or complaints about HC could call in and the reception staff, who were part of the PALS team would help them. Many a complaint sorted that way.

Gary Marshall

Absolutely right. Unless you are VERY strong they will grind you down when you are most vulnerable

The Poll result, was 91% ‘yes’ and 9% ‘no’, with 23 people voting.

Associated files and links:

Jan Charles 19/02/20

No I would not say that, but what I would say is that the PALS are often biased and it is a waste of time contacting NHS England. If you have a complaint against a GP the process is that you complain to them first. If you are unwell then often complaining saps energy you do not have. So much for a duty of care.

If possible take a recording device with you or a stoic friend.

Abuse is prevalent within healthcare private and NHS and I have been on the receiving end and also witnessed it as a healthcare professional.

keith carr 20/02/20

All i ever hear is negative comments as i work in care i have seen more
care and compassion. The bad comments are from companies with bad
management how about more positive comments for the carers who go the extra
mile and lot do.. The ladies and girls i work with care!!! So while some
of your comments are relevant lots are not

Jan Charles 20/02/20

Positive care should be everywhere, but it is not. Those who provide gold standard care deserve accolade, but some of the care I have seen and received amounts to assault. Assault both mental and physical presents in various degrees. Some of the instances I would not post on a public site. Degradation is assault and amounts to bullying. Sometimes patients may feel too embarrassed to complain.