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A report by Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Julie Mellor, found that 56% of those aged over 65 who had a problem with their care did not complain.

There were various reasons stated as to why they didn’t complain, including worries about how it might impact future treatment.

Other reasons included not knowing how to complain, and feeling like it wouldn’t make a difference.

The results came from a national survey of almost 700 people over the age of 65 in, as well as focus groups and cases studies.

The report heard from a carer in Manchester who said: “When people have a problem they don’t know where to go. They are referred to a computer which they don’t have. They are referred to a library which is too far away to get to.”

Charity director Caroline Abrahams from Age UK said the research was cause for concern: “Seeking and responding to older people’s views and experiences is crucial if we are to prevent future care scandals like those that have too often blighted our hospitals and care homes in recent years.”

Healthwatch England said a universal service that was easy to find and simple to use would improve the complaints situation currently being faced.

A spokesman told the BBC: “We know the NHS is under pressure at this time of year, it is therefore vital that if things do go wrong patients are informed how to raise concerns and how to get help to do so if they need it. Without this support, thousands of incidents will continue to go under the radar every year and mistakes will never be learnt from.”

Do you need answers to questions about treatment you think could amount to medical negligence? Do you have a complaint that hasn’t been dealt with properly? At Pryers we have a team of specialist medical negligence solicitors ready to help you get the answers you deserve. Contact us today.

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