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National Statistics
Publication, Part of

Data on written complaints in the NHS, 2015-16 Quarter 1, Experimental

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 2015 to 30 Jun 2015


3 November 2015: 14:00 - a missing CSV file that accompanies this publication was added to this webpage.

This new quarterly collection (annual prior to 2015-16) is a count of written complaints made by (or on behalf of) patients. Data are collected via the KO41a and are for complaints about NHS Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) in England. The data relates to the complaints arrangements introduced in April 2009.

The results within this publication are provisional and experimental and so care should be taken when interpreting the results

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.

Note: this does not include GP and Dental complaints which are collected separately, on an annual basis. 


Key Facts

Main findings  in 2015-16: Quarter 1 (April - June)

Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) written complaints

• There were 8,190 complaints brought forward from the previous period .
• Over the period 21,900 complaints were resolved, of these 8,730 (39.9%) were upheld, 5,640 (25.8%) were partially upheld and 7,490 (34.3%) were not upheld. Upheld definitions are available on page 25
• At the end of quarter one, 11,200 complaints remained unresolved which are carried forward to the next quarter

New complaints

• There were 24,900 new HCHS written complaints in the first quarter of 2015-16

Of these new complaints:

• The majority of new complaints (24.0%) have been made by or on behalf of patients (with a known age) who are between 26 and 55 year olds.
• Nearly half (45.6%) of all complaints are raised by patients.
• There were 27,200 complaints by service area, the largest proportion was attributed to inpatient services with 27.8% followed by outpatient services at 24.7%
• There were 40,100 complaints by subject area, of which 13,700 were complaints about clinical treatment .  The largest proportion of complaints received by individual subject area (including the 12 sub-categories for clinical treatment) was attributed to communications with 12.4% followed by the clinical area of general medicine at 11.1%.
• There were 32,300 complaints by profession, the largest proportion was attributed to medical with 42.0% followed by nursing at 21.0%.

These figures are based on a response rate of 84% of HCHS organisations. It is not possible to estimate the number of complaints that the remaining 16% (approximately 80 organisations) would have received in quarter 1, therefore the total number of complaints does not cover the whole of England.


Related Links

Last edited: 15 September 2020 11:19 am