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The health and social care complaints system doesn't work because it was never designed as a single system around the needs of people. Decades of piecemeal change has resulted in the current bewildering mess of over 70 different types of organisations involved in complaints handling.
We need reform and culture change to create a system that is simple, seamless and stress-free from people's perspective and offers meaningful resolution. Some of this can be achieved through immediate changes to improve things now. But the problems go too deep to stop at minor adjustments, so we are also calling for wholescale reform.
There must be commitment across all parties to make the changes needed.We are calling on the government to take on a seven point action plan that will create an effective and compassionate complaints system that both gives patients what they need and ensures the NHS and social care services can learn from their mistakes.