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    When I attended the All-Party Parliamentary Health Group Meeting entitled ‘Patient complaint: a duty to listen and learn’ on 24th June, I was reminded of the old joke, “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?”  “Only one but the light bulb has to want to change.”  As one meeting on the poor state of complaint handling merges into another and yet another, it struck me that you could ask a similar question; “How many meetings does it take to change the NHS complaint process?”    The primary problem is one of insidious defensiveness and this particular ‘elephant in […]
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    I have to declare an interest. I once was a Community Health Council Chief Officer.  I left to manage services but I like to think that what I learned in those three years made me a better manager. CHCs were made up of local people nominated by the Council, voluntary sector and regional health authority. Their duty was to received complaints and advocate for the patient, to visit local services and to examine and comment on planned changes in NHS services. As with all services the best were very good but there were a few less effective. Rather than raise […]
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