25% of staff from all Dorset GP’s ‘attitude and tone changed’ when told a patient wanted to make a formal complaint, an undercover investigation reveals.
The research was carried out to discover how easy it is to make a formal complaint or raise a concern.
On 24 occasions (of 101), staff changed their attitude towards the volunteers after they mentioned they wanted to make a complaint, 11 became more helpful and five turned defensive.
Martin Farrow, Independent Director of Healthwatch Dorset says he hopes a number of outcomes will come from this project, for both GP’s and patients: “We hope that they [GP’s] will get even better than they are already at welcoming people who raise any concerns so they can put right anything that is wrong, and also so that people understand and feel to be able to raise any concerns.
“We as patients will get [something] out of it as well. We are hoping it’s going to result in better services because one of the best ways for services to improve is to really understand what it’s like form the patients and the service users.”
Farrow claims this is the first time an investigation has been set up to this scale, and has since been commended by NHS England who have already set the team on a future project.
That means the vast majority of cases, mystery shoppers were “treated with courtesy and were made to feel very welcome”, he says.