Thu, 05 Oct 2023

The Department of Health today published statistics on complaint issues and compliments received by the six Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts during 2022/23. It also includes information on complaints against Family Practitioner Services in Northern Ireland for the year ending 31 March 2023

This statistical release presents information on complaint issues and compliments received by HSC Trusts. It details the number of HSC Trust complaint issues received, the programme of care (POC), category, subject and specialty of the complaint issue, along with the time taken to provide a substantive response to complaints received. Information on compliments received by HSC Trusts provides details on the subject of the compliment and method by which the compliment was received. Information is also presented on Family Practitioner Services complaints handled by the SPPG Complaints Team.

Key Points

The key findings presented in the statistics release are listed below.

Latest Year (2022/23)

  • A total of 5,033 complaints, relating to 7,671 complaint issues, were received by HSC Trusts in 2022/23 (Tables 1 & 9); equating to 97 complaints per week or approximately 14 complaints per day.
  • Over half (4,246, 55.4%) of complaint issues received during 2022/23 related to the 'Acute' POC (Table 2, Figure 3).
  • During 2022/23, the highest number (1,545, 20.1%) of complaint issues related to a patient's 'Quality of Treatment & Care' (Table 4).

  • The highest percentage of complaint issues received in 2022/23 related to the 'Accident & Emergency' specialty (1,211, 15.8%) (Table 7).
  • Of the 5,033 complaints received, the median age of the patient / client was 45 years (Figure 9).
  • On average HSC Trusts took 31.9 working days to provide a substantive response to complaints received in 2022/23 (Table 9, Figure 14).
  • During 2022/23, 26,474 compliments (via card, email, feedback form, care opinion, letter, social media or telephone) were received by HSC Trusts in Northern Ireland (Table 16, Figure 22).
  • Of the 26,474 compliments received by HSC Trusts, 11,946 (45.1%) related to 'Quality of Treatment & Care', 8,327 (31.5%) to 'Staff Attitude & Behaviour', 2,398 (9.1%) to 'Information & Communication', 2,202 (8.3%) to 'Environment', and 1,601 (6.0%) to 'Other' subjects (Table 16, Figure 21).

Last Five Years (2018/19 - 2022/23)

  • Since 2018/19, the number of complaint issues received by HSC Trusts increased from 6,049 to 7,671 in 2022/23 (Table 1, Figure 2).
  • Over the last five years, all six HSC Trusts reported an increase in the number of complaint issues received; with the largest increase (68.1%) reported by the Southern Trust (Table 1, Figure 2).
  • Between 2018/19 and 2022/23, the largest increase in the number of complaint issues (620, 17.1%) was reported in the 'Acute' POC (3,626 to 4,246) (Table 3).
  • Complaint's' issues relating to Family Practitioner Services decreased (109, 34.4%) in 2022/23 compared to the 2018/19 year (Table 10, Figure 15).

The information release is published on the Departmental website at:  

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