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The NHS complaints procedure is the national statutorily based mechanism for dealing with patients' complaints and all NHS organisations are required to operate the procedure. This survey collects data from all NHS organisations, and captures complaints about NHS Direct and Walk-in Centres. The collection is a complete count of all written complaints made by (or on behalf of) patients.

Main Topics/Subject Category
General practice (including dental) complaints, Complaints by Local Resolution and Service Area, Complaints by Profession, Complaints by Subject, Complaints by Local Resolution and SHA Area, Complaints by Service Area, SHA Area and PCT etc.

Total number of complaints (total complaints with 20 working days target, concluded within 20 working days % and number, number of complaints concluded outside 20 working days, number of complaints still being pursued), complaints by local resolution and service area, complaints by profession, complaints by subject.

Complaint, services, treatment, general practice, hospital, community health, dentist
Identifier Variables
SHA, PCT, service area
Economic/Subject Categories
Litigation, Patient safety
Area of Health System
Primary care
Data Available
Socio-economic, Demographic
Data collecting organization (s)
NHS information centre
Data Type
Coverage (date of field work)
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Unit of Analysis

All written complaints received from NHS patients. Total HCHS Complaints *1997-98 88,757
*1998-99 86,013
*1999-00 86,536
*2000-01 95,734
*2001-02 93,020
*2002-03 91,023
*2003-04 90,122
*2004-05 90,413
*2005-06 95,047
*01 April 2006 to 31 March 2007 90,801
*01 September 2006 to 31 March 2007 51,359

NHS information centre
Conditions of Access
Free access
Mayberry MK. The NHS complaints system. Postgraduate Medical Journal 2002; 78: 651-653