Health minister Ann Keen has revealed a new unified complaints system is to make it easier for people to complain when things go wrong.
A simple two-stage complaints system focused on local resolution and then investigation by the health or local government ombudsman will replace the current lengthy process.
Health Minister Ann Keen said: "I know that people find the current complaints system confusing. Some may also avoid complaining because they feel too intimidated or worry about damaging their relationship with their GP or social worker. This must change.
"The new streamlined approach will remove the need to follow a rigid set of procedures and replace them with a more open, flexible and personal service. It makes sense for everyone to use a more locally based service for complaints – one the public feel they can trust.
"It is in the interests of health and social care providers to be more accountable to their local communities."
Previously, separate complaints procedures dealt with health and adult social care, making it difficult for people who wished to use a combination of services to make a complaint.
Ann Keen adds: "The new system will ensure organisations take complaints seriously and that boards understand the benefits of dealing with complaints effectively and the consequences if they don't."