Sep 20 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
COMPLAINTS from patients in Brent have risen at a higher rate than nearly everywhere else in the capital.
Figures released by the NHS show that the number of written complaints lodged by patients of Brent PCT have risen by 46.5 per cent compared with last year.
From April 2011 to March 2012, the primary care trust received 167 written complaints relating to general practice and dental services, compared with 114 the year before.
This ranks Brent PCT as third across London in terms of percentage increase in complaints from last year, just behind City and Hackney PCT and Hillingdon PCT.
Labour councillor Zaffar Van Kalwala said: “This is yet another worrying sign of the NHS heading in the wrong direction.
“It’s not surprising that more and more patients are writing formal complaints. The pressure on the NHS is growing with cuts to staff and resources. The government must get an urgent grip on the NHS and patients and staff deserve much better.”
A report accompanying the figures said: “An organisation that has good publicity, that welcomes complaints as an opportunity to learn and to improve services, and that has a non-defensive approach in responding to complaints may be expected to receive a higher number of complaints than an organisation with poor publicity and a defensive approach in responding.”
A spokesman for Brent PCT said: “In terms of numbers of complaints, including the increase, Brent receives fewer complaints than most boroughs in the capital, despite being one of the most populous boroughs.
“We are far from complacent about the complaints we receive, but the number of complaints we receive is among the best in London.”
In 2012/13 the organisation is investing over an additional £1million in GP practices.
The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust received 789 written complaints relating to hospital and community health service, an increase of eight on last year, meaning a one per cent rise.