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Practice nurses make up less than 4% of primary care complaints

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Nurses in general practice only received 3.9% of the total complaints made in primary care settings in the past year

Nurses in general practice only received 3.9% of the total complaints made in primary care settings in the past year, according to data from NHS Digital.

The Data on Written Complaints in the NHS for England report between 2017-2018 shows there were 94,367 complaints made in primary care (including dentistry) from 2017-2018 – and only 3,812 of these were made against nurses.

However, complaints about general practitioners continue to rise, with a total of 43,457 in the past year.

‘NHS staff are working under immense pressure. It is a credit to them that the data does not show a significant increase in complaints overall,’ said Robert Behrens, parliamentary and health service ombudsman.

‘The NHS complaints process is an essential channel to improving public services and we encourage people to speak up when things go wrong.’

‘We owe it to the NHS’s dedicated and skilled workforce to talk about mistakes in an open and transparent way enabling organisations to learn from them, make improvements and ensure they are not repeated.’

In total, primary care complaints have risen by 4.5% but 50.4% of complaints were not upheld, 36,4% were fully upheld and the remainder only partially upheld.

Approximately 83.1% of complaints related to GP surgeries and 14.6% to dental practices.

The data also revealed that the demographic most likely to complain were aged between 26-55 and while GPs and dentists were most complained about, administrative staff were the second most.

In community care, health visitors had the highest percentage drop in complaints, decreasing by 13.3%, and midwives had the highest increase, with complaints rising from 3,411 in 2016-2017 to 3,785 in 2017-2018.

In total, the NHS received 208,626 complaints across primary and secondary care, which is a 0.1% increase from the year before.

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