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Elderly people feel unable to raise healthcare complaints

Research by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has found that elderly care receivers are reluctant to refer instances of poor health care provision through official channels as a result of a lack of information or through fear of reprisals.

The report, which surveyed more than 700 over 65s nationally, stated that 56% of respondents who had experienced an issue with healthcare provision did not raise a complaint through concern over how it might affect treatment in future.

Almost 20% of those surveyed stated that the channels for raising a complaint were not clear, while around 33% believed that the submission of a complaint would not illicit any results.

Dame Julie Mellor, the current Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, stated that these circumstances could "lead to missed opportunities to improve the service for others", resulting in some elderly care receivers "suffering in silence".

Caroline Abrahams, director of charity Age UK, echoed this sentiment, commenting: "Seeking and responding to older people's views and experiences is crucial if we are to prevent future care scandals like those that have too often blighted our hospitals and care homes in recent years."

While the report recognised the Government’s stated intention to deliver a more streamlined public ombudsman, it concluded that more proactive measures were required from the NHS to ensure all patients know how to raise a complaint and to be assured that no action would then be taken against them.

Fiona Lowry, our CEO, stated: “Care should always be centred on the needs of those cared for, so it is concerning that those needs are not being expressed to care homes. At The Good Care Group, our core mission is to provide personalised, live-in care, ensuring our carers can build real relationships with your loved ones and can address any issues or concerns for them immediately. This gives clients a higher quality of life, with no fear of any lack of support at any stage.”