Independent report

NHS hospitals complaints system review

Report of handling of complaints by NHS hospitals in England by Ann Clwyd MP and Professor Tricia Hart.


Review of the NHS Hospitals Complaints System: Putting Patients Back in the Picture (in Word format)

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email . Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


This report looks at how complaints about care in NHS hospitals made by patients, their carers and representatives are listened to and acted on by hospitals.

The recommendations cover:

  • improving the quality of care
  • improving the way complaints are handled
  • ensuring independence in the complaints procedures
  • whistleblowing

The review received 2,500 responses, the majority describing problems with the quality of treatment or care in NHS hospitals. The review panel also heard from people who had not complained because they felt the process was too confusing or they feared for their future care.

The report was commissioned by the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, after the Francis report into Mid Staffordshire highlighted that complaints are a warning sign of problems in a hospital.

The review was co-chaired by the Rt. Hon Ann Clwyd MP for the Cynon Valley and Professor Tricia Hart, Chief Executive, South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Published 28 October 2013