HEALTH services in Rotherham have bucked a national trend of rising written complaints.
The three medical trusts covering the borough all received fewer formal complaints in 2016-17 than in the previous year.
Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust — which runs Rotherham Hospital — received 349 complaints in 2015-16, with 72 per cent partially or fully upheld.
The following year it received just 289 complaints, with only 59 per cent partially or fully upheld.
Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) — which supports children and the elderly as well as providing mental health support services — had 117 complaints in 2015-16, with 63 per cent were upheld in part or in full.
The following year, this had fallen to just 111 complaints — 61 per cent of which were partially or fully upheld.
NHS Rotherham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) — which organises GP surgeries and community care — had 47 complaints in 2015-16, with 67 per cent partially or fully upheld.
This fell to just 26 the following year, with 43 per cent upheld partially or fully.
A spokesman for Rotherham CCG, speaking on behalf of all three health services, said: “We welcome patients’ opinions about our services, positive or negative.
“We actively promote to patients, carers and families how to make a comment — especially if they are not happy with our services.
“We then use feedback to improve our services and patient care.”
Nationally, the number of written complaints to the NHS has increased by 4.9 per cent in the past year.
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, an impartial service for people whose complaints are not resolved by the NHS or government departments, handled 31,444 complaints in 2016-7 and investigated 4,239 cases.
Ombudsman Robert Behrens said: “The NHS provides high-quality care to millions of people every year but unfortunately we still see a wide variation in the quality of NHS complaint handling.
“Far too many complaints come to us that could have been resolved by the NHS, leaving people waiting too long for answers and delaying important improvements.
“We are committed to working with the NHS to improve the way complaints are handled.”