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Regarding your article 'Complaints caseload is set to surge' (News, June 14), the emphasis of the NHS complaints procedure remains local resolution.

The Healthcare Commission, in designing the new service, used a planning figure of up to 5,000 second-stage complaints in our first year, as compared with the 3,500 experienced under the current system. This is due to a general increase in the number of complaints being made and because we expect complainants to have increased confidence in the new system.

We know that more than 140,000 complaints are received by the NHS each year and the vast majority of these are successfully resolved locally. We would expect this to remain the case.

Readers interested in becoming expert advisers to the commission can apply for an information pack from: michelle.tan@healthcarecommission.org.uk

Anna Walker

Chief Executive

Healthcare Commission

London

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