Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Complaints system needs to provide re-assurance

20 November, 2006

Sinn Féin health spokesperson, John O'Dowd MLA has welcomed the simplification of the complaints process for people who may be dissatisfied or feel let down with the services received from the Department of Health and Personal Social Services.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"I am aware that many people simply do not understand the present process for making complaints. Ordinary people have often found that the process is unwieldy and bureaucratic. In a number of cases with which I am familiar, people have said they felt the current process was designed to discourage complaints.

"Clearly, any improvements to the current system which simplifies the process in order to provide speedy and fair resolution of genuine complaints is to be welcomed. It is important that health and personal social services provide the opportunity to listen to those have been let down by the system, and, more importantly, to be able to quickly put in place remedial measures to prevent any re-occurrence.

"Coupled with this new complaints system, Sinn Féin would see the creation of effective patient advocacy networks as equally important in order to ensure that help, advice and assistance is readily available to those who need it, at the time when they most need to avail of such help." ENDS

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