Increase in Health Service Complaints Announced by Health Service Executive

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has announced an increase in the number of Health Service complaints it received during 2012, with fewer being attended to within the promised 30 days.

The Executive recorded a total of 6,613 complaints during 2012, with 3,049 directly related to the standard of care received by patients throughout the year – an increase of 27 percent over 2011. Other complaints related to avoidable delays in treatment (805) and a lack of communication from hospital staff (600).

Further increases were registered in the number of complaints relating to errors in clinical judgement (up 37 percent on 2011), while other categories in which there was a significant poor standard of care included nursing homes, infection control and hospital accommodation. The largest number of Health Service complaints originated from the HSE South region.

The figures released by the HSE also revealed that only 69 percent of Health Service complaints are attended to within the 30 period advertised on the HSE web site – an alarming statistic considering that the complaints procedure is an avenue for victims of hospital negligence to identify why an error has occurred and what should be done to remedy it when answers are not forthcoming from medical staff (the ‘lack of communication’ mentioned above).

Important Information about Health Service Complaints in Ireland

The Health Service complaints procedure in Ireland is an important part of the process if you have suffered a loss, an injury or the avoidable deterioration of an existing condition due to a breach in the duty of care owed to you by a medical practitioner and wish to make a claim for hospital negligence compensation.

How and when you should make a complaint to the Health Service may be determined by the nature of the injury you have sustained and, to avoid possible contradictions when you later make a claim for hospital negligence compensation, it is recommended that you seek advice from an experienced medical negligence solicitor before making an official complaint against the Health Service in Ireland.