A COMPLETE overhaul of the complaints system at Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust ‘mirrors’ a call for action made by a Government-commissioned inquiry, the trust has said.
Labour MP Ann Clwyd called for a ‘revolution’ in the way trusts deal with complaints to stem the culture of delay and denial which are seen to be commonplace at many sites.
Her comments came months after the Burton trust – which runs Queen’s Hospital – was told by the Keogh Inquiry it must take action to address the inadequate way in which complaints were dealt with to ensure better communication with patients.
In the wake of the publication of the inquiry’s findings, chief executive Helen Ashley acknowledged there was work to be done in dealing with complaints and helping staff to learn from them.
That work is already under way, the trust told the Mail.
Director of nursing Brendan Brown (above) said: “While Burton Hospitals always investigates any concerns raised by patients or their relatives, we are working hard to improve how we respond to issues raised by patients, their families and carers. Mrs Clwyd’s report is a call to action for patients’ voices to be heard within the NHS across the country, and mirrors the work we have started here at Burton.”
A formal review has been launched into the complaints system, as well as the Patient Advice and Liason Service (PALS), Mr Brown said, adding the trust was ‘committed’ to making improvements to ensure complaints were dealt with in a satisfactory manner and responses identified as quickly as possible.
“Part of this work also involves a review of how complaints are responded to, to ensure we have asked patients and their families exactly how they want their issue to be dealt with. This work is based on feedback from patients and their families, who have suggested improvements we can make to our service,” he said.
Along with these changes, the complaints and PALS departments are due to be moved from satellite buildings into the main hospital on the Queen’s site, off Burton’s Belvedere Road.
The aim of the move was to ensure complaints were dealt with ‘at source’, the trust said.
The trust recently announced it had signed up to the national Speak Out Safely campaign, which encouraged providers to support and value staff raising concerns about quality of care.