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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Data on Written Complaints in the NHS - 2008-09

National statistics
Publication Date:
Geographic Coverage:
Geographical Granularity:
Ambulance Trusts, Care Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Hospital and Community Health Services, Hospital Trusts, Hospital Sites, Independent Sector Health Care Providers, Mental Health Trusts, NHS Trusts, GP practices, Regions, Dental practices
Date Range:
01 Apr 1997 to 31 Mar 2009


The NHS complaints procedure is the statutorily based mechanism for dealing with complaints about NHS care and treatment and all NHS organisations in England are required to operate the procedure. This annual collection is a count of written complaints made by (or on behalf of) patients, received between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009.

Key Facts

  • The number of written complaints about hospital and community health services has increased by 2 per cent from 87,080 in 2007-08 to 89,139 in 2008-09.
  • In 2008-09, 73 per cent of complaints were resolved within the target time limit. This is a slight decrease on the 2007-08 achievement of 75 per cent; however it is the fifth consecutive year resolution within target time has been around the 75 per cent mark.
  • For the first time, a split is shown indicating whether complaints resolved outside of the 25 day target were done so with or without permission of the complainant.
  • The number of complaints resolved outside of the target has increased by 22 per cent, from 18,306 in 2007-08 to 22,273 in 2008-09. Of these resolved outside the target, 60 per cent had the complainants permission to do so (50 per cent last year).
  • There has been a large increase (11 per cent) in the number of written complaints about general practice (including dental) health services from 43,942 in 2007-08 to 48,597 in 2008-09. Many family health service providers are attributing this increase to their effort in raising patient's awareness of their rights, including the freedom to complain.


Last edited: 11 April 2018 4:07 pm