Memorandum submitted by Geoffrey Crittenden (H&SC 22)
HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE BILL
I am a member of the Public who has worked in the NHS and in Social Care. I attended yesterday's committee meeting where evidence was taken [8th January].
I have the following two comments which I hope are covered in the Bill and if not, I hope that this may be helpful to the Committee.
1. The Government recently announced that the NHS may arrange for patients - should they choose - to receive their NHS-recommended treatments abroad. If this is to become reality, then this bill should put in place arrangements to monitor these care episodes abroad - both the administrative processes and the clinical standards and outcomes
2. NHS and Social Care customers should expect to be routinely asked to provide "feedback" (not just "complaints") when they have received health and social care services.
Yesterday the "Which" representatives highlighted the need for appropriate "complaints" processes. I agree with this but it can be equally and more important to provide regular feedback. Given customers reluctance to complain, complaints are more likely to highlight one-off exceptional problems rather routine problems with the standards of services being delivered.
I believe that the Bill should encourage the routine regular collection of feedback from customers to provide both positive comments and also problems experienced. As with many settings today, people do expect to get asked to provide feedback e.g. in eating places, after training courses, etc
Where customers expect to be routinely asked to provide feedback (e.g at the end of a care episode, at hospital discharge, monthly for long stay customers, after major investigations) they are more likely to provide information, even if only briefly. This will provide a better view of the real quality of services being provided.
I suggest that the need for collecting "feedback" as well "facilitating complaint management should be covered in the Bill.