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Tuesday, 19 February 2019 16:04

New research by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) reveals millions of people across England have had concerns about care and regret not speaking out.


Almost 7 million people, who are patients or family carers, have expressed concerns about care given in the last five years but have never complained. The majority (58 per cent) regret staying silent. The most common reason for not raising concerns was the belief that nothing would change as a result (37 per cent).

Some feared being seen as a 'trouble maker'

Some 33 per cent did not speak out because they did not want to be seen as a ‘troublemaker’. Some 33 per cent did not know who to raise their complaint with and 28 per cent worried about not being taken seriously. A fifth (20 per cent) did not know how to raise a complaint.

In response to the research, Care minister Caroline Dinenage said: “I encourage anyone who has concerns over their care, or the care of loved ones, to share their experiences with the Care Quality Commission - so they can continue their vital work of protecting patients and improving the excellent care we see across the health service.”

'Declare You Care'

The CQC is now calling for people to speak up about their experiences of care, following its poll (conducted from November to December last year). The care regulator has launched its ‘Declare Your Care’ campaign to encourage people to share their experiences of care with the care regulator.

The watchdog said it does not have legal powers to resolve individual complaints but is encouraging all who experience or know about poor care to inform the CQC

According to the CQC, those who did complain said they saw care improvements.

The CQC has said that when people did raise a complaint, the majority (66 per cent) found their issue was resolved quickly, improved the care and left them happy with the outcome.

The main reasons for raising a concern were delays to receiving care, lack of information and poor patient care. Over a fifth of people said they wanted to raise concerns about a lack of communication between health and care services.

Ian Trenholm, chief executive at the CQC, said: “We know that when people raise a concern they have a genuine desire to improve the service for themselves and others. We also know that the majority of services really appreciate this feedback and make positive changes, as this new research shows. “Hearing from people about their experiences of care is an important part of our inspection work and contributes to driving improvements in standards of care.

“Everyone can play a part in improving care by directly giving feedback to services, or by sharing information and experiences with us so that we can take action when we find poor care.”

The CQC advises four steps to report poor care:

1. Speak to staff to resolve it informally

2. If issues persist, ask your care provider to see the complaints procedure. This will tell you what to do.

3. If you are not happy about how they respond to your complaint, you can contact:

a. Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (for private or adult social care services)

b. Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (for NHS services)

4. Share your experience (on behalf of yourself or someone else) with CQC at cqc.org.uk/share-your-experience


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26 August 2019