NHS Patients Should Complain More

Medical Negligence Solicitor, Mike Clarke, looks at the suggestion that patients need to be more vocal in their criticism

NHS and care services patients need to become more demanding and fight for their rights, a new watchdog body says.

Healthwatch England, which was created as part of the NHS overhaul earlier this year and monitors a network of 152 local patient bodies, urged the public to become “savvy consumers” rather than “grateful patients”.

It has been estimated that half of people who experienced poor care never trouble to complain about it or seek explanations.

In it’s first report to Parliament, Healthwatch highlighted what it sees as too much deference shown by patients to those in the medical system.

‘Savvy consumers’

Healthwatch England chairwoman, Anna Bradley, said:

“We all need to stop acting like grateful patients and care users and start to see ourselves as savvy consumers, insisting on our right to safe, dignified and high quality care.”

To help achieve that, the organisation has set out its list of patient rights and urges that all NHS patients should insist upon them:

  • the right to essential services
  • the right to access
  • the right to a safe, dignified and quality service
  • the right to information and education
  • the right to choose
  • the right to be listened to
  • the right to be involved
  • the right to live in a healthy environment

Ms Bradley added:

“Consumer rights are second nature to us on the High Street, but by thinking this way we can ensure people have a voice at the heart of the health and social care system.”

These rights are very similar to the core legal issues that clinical negligence lawyers consider when assessing whether a patient has a claim for medical negligence. As such, it can do no harm for all patients to be more familiar with them and particularly to seek guidance from a specialised medical negligence solicitor when they feel those standards have not been met.

If you have been the victim of medical negligence and require sensitive, confidential, specialist legal advice then call us now on 0808 139 1606

NHS Patients Should Complain More