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Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services

First published:
12 February 2024
Last updated:

I am announcing the start of a 12-week public consultation exercise on 12 February to

  • listen to the citizens of Wales and other stakeholders about their experience in raising complaints about NHS care and 
  • to ask for their feedback on some changes we are proposing to the current process.

The “Putting Things Right” process was set up under the National Health Service (Concerns, Complaints and Redress Arrangements) (Wales) Regulations 2011. It gives people a single process for raising a concern or complaint about NHS services. It also sets out the process for considering and offering redress where harm, associated with that care, has been caused.

We have been listening carefully over the past few years to the experiences of those who have experienced care in the NHS; those responsible for its provision; those who have raised concerns about their care and how they were treated, and those who provide legal advice and settle these cases. 

The regulations, which have been in place for over a decade, require some review and modernisation to bring them up to date with current practice. The detailed guidance originally published in 2011 to help embed the system, is lengthy and would also benefit from being refreshed, simplified, and made more accessible to the public. 

This consultation brings together a number of key lessons from listening to the public and care providers. It sets out proposed policy changes which aim to: 

  • Place people at the heart of the process
  • Provide an improved focus on compassionate patient-centred communication
  • Improve the Putting Things Right process to be more inclusive
  • The inclusion of escalation processes for urgent concerns of deliberate abuse or harm from care, or after someone dies
  • Refresh the arrangements to provide free legal advice and medical expert reports

These changes build on the Duties of Candour and Quality implemented in 2023, and the Speaking Up Safely Framework, all of which support our commitment to a culture of openness, transparency, and greater accountability in the Welsh NHS. The proposed changes focus on ensuring those responsible for the provision of healthcare are actively listening to and learning from patients and their families to improve the quality and safety of care.

The consultation will run from 12 February until 6 May 2024.

This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.