PEOPLE in the Bradford district have shared their experience of making an NHS complaint.

Research carried out by Healthwatch England in 2014 found that two thirds of people do not complain when they receive or witness poor care.

Healthwatch Bradford and District says it continues to hear from local people who find the complaints process difficult to navigate, despite efforts made in the NHS.

The organisation partnered with Bradford's Independent Complaints Advocacy Team (ICAT) to investigate.

Nearly 100 people shared their views and Healthwatch said people were positive about finding information about making a complaint and about organisations which specialise in supporting a complaint.

However, the group said people found the complaints process challenging and put off making a complaint over fears it would affect future care.

Sarah Hutchinson, Healthwatch Manager said: “It’s important people are able to make a complaint quickly and easily if their care has fallen short of expectations.

"This helps people feel safe, but also provides services with vital information about the treatment they provide, and how it can be improved.

"We know that some health providers in Bradford are keen to improve people’s experiences of making complaints, and we hope that the findings of the report will help make this happen.”

Sharon Cullerton, Managing Director of Vital (which hosts ICAT) added: “As an organisation that works independently with local citizens helping them navigate the complex NHS complaints procedure we know how difficult people can find it.

"At ICAT we aim to help people make sense of the complaint process, get voices heard and try to help them receive fair and equitable treatment.

"It’s our hope that together with Healthwatch and the findings of this report we can improve the NHS complaints handling in Bradford & District, make the process more equitable and streamlined, more meaningful for patients and ultimately a useful learning tool for the NHS organisations.”

Healthwatch Bradford and District have shared their findings and a number of recommendations with local service providers and CCG’s with the aim of improving the complaints process locally