ISCAS position on escalating private patient complaints in the NHS

ISCAS has previously highlighted the blog of Professor Ted Baker, Chief Inspector of Hospitals at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), in which he explained the different escalation points for complaints for NHS funded patients and privately funded patients.

In the blog, Professor Baker reminds service providers, including NHS private patient units (NHSPPUs), that private patients who remain dissatisfied with internal complaint responses, do not have access to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). He goes on to state that CQC expects providers to be able to demonstrate what arrangements are in place for the independent review of complaints for private patients and what patient information materials are available.

Working with the Patients Association, ISCAS is finding that patients do not always have accessible information about how to escalate complaints. This is also evident from independent inquiries that have reviewed the situation across the independent sector and the NHS.

Today ISCAS is publishing a position statement aimed at NHS providers of private services. The position statement provides information on the regulatory framework, recommendations from recent inquiries and links to relevant information provided by the CQC and PHSO. ISCAS position is a re-statement of requirements of the system regulator and the position of the ombudsman:

 ‚ÄúPrivate patients treated in NHS locations in England must be made aware that they are unable to escalate complaints to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). Registered Managers and Nominated Individuals in NHS locations treating private patients are responsible for ensuring that information is available about how to escalate complaints to an appropriate body, such as ISCAS.