The number of official written complaints about community health services — including pharmacy — decreased by 8% between 2012/2013 and 2013/2014, from 6,840 to 6,292.
This was the biggest fall in complaints about any NHS service in England, the official figures, published on 28 August 2014 by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), reveal.
NHS Direct saw the largest increase in written complaints in the health service in England during the same period, up by 87.6%, from 193 to 362 complaints, the figures show.
Hospital acute inpatient services accounted for the biggest proportion of complaints in 2013/2014, with 30.1% of the total, but the figure fell by 1.3% compared with the previous year, the HSCIC found.
As a professional group, the medical profession was the target of the majority of complaints in 2013/2014, with 45.6% of the total. Meanwhile, ambulance crews experienced the biggest rise, rising by 28.5% compared with the previous year. Issues about clinical care accounted for most NHS complaints for this period, with 45.6%.
Overall, the total number of written complaints reported in England increased by 4,992, or 4.6%, from 109,316 in 2012/2013 to 114,308 in 2013/2014.