Make your experiences count

Background and introduction

In the White Paper, ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’, the Government made a commitment to implement a single, comprehensive complaints process across health and social care services by 2009.

In June 2007, the Department of Health produced a consultation document, ‘Making Experiences Count’ (MEC), which set out its proposals for a new, more comprehensive and personal approach, with a focus on better resolving and learning from complaints.

The response to the consultation, published in February 2008, confirmed that the respondents were overwhelmingly supportive of changing the system and closer working between different organisations.

‘Early adopter’ programme

In early 2008, we were invited to take part in the ‘early adopter’ programme being introduced to support the development of these new arrangements.

Other organisations selected include at least one from each of the 10 strategic health authorities across England, made up of a cross-section of NHS trusts, mental health providers and local authority social services departments.

The first phase of the programme ran from April–September 2008,  with new legislation introduced in April 2009.  Amongst a number of changes, The Healthcare Commission no longer has any role within the NHS complaints procedure and instead you will need to approach the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Our own complaints and feedback policy has also been revised.

More information about the changes to the NHS complaints procedure can be found on the Department of Health’s website.

A further consideration is that as the only London-wide NHS trust, it would not be sensible to establish a different way of working in only one or two areas of London. We also wish to build on our strong relationship with other care providers.