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Complaints to Wales’ health board soar

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

New figures have revealed a significant increase in patient complaints made to the health boards in Wales. The figures, which were obtained by Plaid Cymru, showed that between 2009-10 and 2012-13 complaints increased by more than 40%. Plaid Cymru health spokeswoman Elin Jones collected the data through a Freedom of Information request.

It was found that Cardiff and Vale University Health Board received 7,200 complaints since 2008, while Hywel Dda Local Health Board had 5,665. The Welsh government said that the increase in complaints is not purely negative, believing that it provides health boards with a “valuable” opportunity to make improvements and learn from mistakes.

The data stated the following:

  • Complaints rose from 298 to 858 in Abertawe Bro Morgannwg within five years
  • Complaints rose from 166 to 551 in Cwm Taf
  • Aneurin Bevan saw a rise from 617 complaints in 2008 to 964 in 2014
  • Betsi Cadwaladr saw a rise from 1,330 in 2011 to 1,577 in 2014

Ms Jones said: “It is crucial that lessons are learnt when any failing has been identified and action taken to prevent that re-occurring and experiences passed to all various health boards.

Despite the worrying findings, a Welsh government spokesman said that the majority of people are very happy with the health care provided.  He believed that the rise in complaints suggests that patients are more “engaged with the health service”.

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