Change in law needed to improve NHS complaint handling
More legislation is needed to improve complaint handling in the NHS, the Nursing and Midwifery Council has said.
The NMC welcomed a recent Health Committee report on complaints and raising concerns and called for a change in the law to accelerate the recommended changes.
MPs published their findings this week and suggested further improvements to processes for dealing with issues raised by patients and staff.
The Committee was also keen to acknowledge that significant progress had already been made.
Responding to the conclusions, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, Jackie Smith, acknowledged the importance of complaints being “dealt with swiftly and efficiently”.
“We have made huge progress at speeding up the time it takes us to deal with complaints, having recently hit a major milestone.
“We want to be able to do more, but we must have changes to our legislation in order to get better,” she said.
Ms Smith also welcomed the report’s acknowledgment of current achievements as well as embracing proposals for improvements.
"We are pleased that the report recognises the work we have done to provide more support to members of the public who complain to us about a nurse or a midwife.
“We are proud to have made progress in improving the way we interact with witnesses.
"It is important that the professional regulators, system regulators and the wider complaints system work well together.
“We have a role to play in sharing information with other organisations which are responsible for safety and quality in health and care.
“We have strengthened our working arrangements with other organisations to this end.
"When the revised Code is published at the end of this month, it will emphasise the duty of nurses and midwives to raise concerns in the interest of their patients.
“It also makes clear that nurses and midwives must not prevent their colleagues or members of the public from raising concerns.
“We remind nurses and midwives that they should act without delay if they believe there is a risk to patient safety or public protection."