Health trust complaints dip to three-year low

Weston General Hospital. Picture: Mark Atherton

Weston General Hospital. Picture: Mark Atherton - Credit: Archant

The number of patient complaints to Weston’s health trust have declined, despite almost 200 being made last year.

Weston Area Health NHS Trust, who run Weston General Hospital, received 193 written complaints from patients and their families in 2018, according to the latest NHS data.

Almost a third of complaints raised issues about medical treatment received while the patient was in hospital.

A further 23 per cent were concerned about the inadequate communication from hospital staff.

Trust staff were able to resolve 107 of the complaints last year, including some from previous years.

In 2017, the trust received 235 formal complaints, a small rise on 2016 when 226 complaints were recorded by the trust.

The trust’s director of nursing Sarah Dodds said: “Listening to our patients and responding to feedback is extremely important.

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“Coming into hospital can be a very unsettling time and we want to ensure that every one of our patients, alongside their relatives and carers, has the best possible experience.

“It is very positive to see the number of complaints received by the trust reducing and an even better reflection of the high-quality care delivered by our staff can be seen in the increasing number of compliments and thank-you letters we receive: 368 in 2015-16 rising to 573 in 2017-18.”

In 57 per cent of cases, evidence was found to support the complaint and an admission was made by the trust.

Twenty-one per cent were recorded as partially upheld while the remainder were deemed to be unsubstantiated, frivolous or vexatious.

Ms Dodds added: “We also look very carefully at any themes within the feedback we receive as this allows us to identify areas where a closer focus is required.

“It also helps us to understand what is important to our patients – sometimes it is the little things that make all the difference and we want to ensure we act upon all feedback we receive.

“Every complaint is taken seriously by the trust and a full investigation is carried out, noting and acting upon any learning to prevent the situation arising again.

“All complainants receive a copy of the investigation report alongside a letter from our chief executive, James Rimmer.”