NHS low complaint statistics ‘defy trend’

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NHS Borders has received the fourth lowest number of complaints in Scotland in 2011-12, according to statistics released by ISD Scotland, part of NHS National Services Scotland.

They received a total of 144 complaints, with only health services in the smaller regions of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles receiving fewer.

The figures also showed that of the complaints made, 47.9 per cent were not upheld. Only 69 were upheld or partially upheld.

Local Conservative MSP John Lamont welcomed the statistics, adding: “These are very impressive figures, and show that NHS Borders is significantly outperforming other health boards across Scotland.

“Although the past year has seen the biggest ever increase in health complaints across Scotland, NHS Borders has defied the trend, posting only a small increase on the year before.

“What is also encouraging is that of the complaints received, only a small majority were upheld, meaning the true figure is even lower.

“While it is obviously a concern when any patient has a reason to complain about the service they received, it should be welcome that NHS Borders is attracting fewer complaints than elsewhere.”

He continued: “A low number of complaints normally means that staff are carrying out their duties effectively and politely. It just goes to show that we in the Borders are lucky to have such an effective health service in our area.”