Patients Complain Over Long Waiting Times


Nearly 2,600 people contacted the Patient and Client Council’s Complaints Support Service last year. Of that number, 907 people used the service to make a formal complaint about their experience.

dn_screenA significant number of enquiries and complaints were from patients and relatives who were concerned about the time it took to see a GP, a hospital specialist following a referral and for actual treatment.

People wanted to know how long they would have to wait, how to check on their place on the list and to understand what would happen if they became ill while waiting.

Other concerns people raised with the Patient and Client Council (PCC) included staff attitude, poor communication and their experience of care.

Richard Dixon, the PCC Complaints Support Service Manager, said: “We will use the findings from the Annual Complaints Report to promote learning from complaints, openness and timeliness in responding to complainants, and ensure we continue to develop our service in response to people’s needs.”

To download an electronic version of the Summary and Annual Complaints Report:

2015-2016 go to

The Patient and Client Council was created on 1st April 2009 as an independent, informed and influential voice for patients, clients, carers and communities. It has four statutory functions:
*  To listen and act on people’s views
*  To encourage people to get involved
*  To help people make a complaint
*  To promote advice and information.

Over the past seven years, the Patient and Client Council has engaged with tens of thousands of people on a wide range of health and social care-related issues through surveys, face-to-face interviews, workshops and contact with the general public at events right across Northern Ireland.

Some of the areas where the Patient and Client Council has enabled service users to work in partnership with Health and Social Care to co-design services and deliver meaningful service improvement to include: mental health and learning disability, chronic pain and rare diseases, as well as specific conditions such as fibromyalgia, ME, Stage IV endometriosis and recurrent miscarriage.