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GWH trust faces 39 per cent increase in complaints
A BUSY winter period led to a rise in the number of complaints received by the Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in January.
In a report discussed at the GWH Trust Board meeting yesterday it was revealed that there was a 39 per cent increase in the number of stage two complaints received, which also slowed response times.
These are fairly informal complaints, which require some investigating, and usually refer to issues such as waiting times. For the first time since July, the trust slipped below the 80 per cent target to 77 per cent for responding to these types of complaints within 20 working days. Both Diagnostics and Outpatients, and Planned Care fell below the threshold in this area.
The report, compiled by Kevin McNamara, the head of communications and stakeholder engagement, said: “January has been a very busy month in terms of the number of complaints received. “The volume of complaints has clearly contributed to response times. One area, Planned Care, experienced a 39 per cent increase in stage two complaints in a month. “A large proportion of this stems from orthopaedic patients raising concerns about waiting times and poor communication about where they are on the list.
“The issue has been raised with the directorate to improve communication.
“The appointment of two new consultants will provide more cover from April and the directorate team is working through other short and long term solutions to the problem.”
The report showed that significant improvements have been made within Unscheduled Care, with response rates rising from 62 per cent in December to 89 per cent in January – their best performance.
Before Christmas, the trust rolled out the national Friends and Family Test to enable in-patients cared for at the GWH or in any of the community hospitals or birth centres in Wiltshire to tell the trust whether they would recommend the service to a friend or relative.
Meanwhile, the trust is exploring the introduction of a Mystery Shopper-style scheme allowing them to gain insight into the experience of real patients.
Mr McNamara said the aim was to have the scheme in place, subject to approval, from April.
“Mystery Shoppers are patients and carers who are willing to complete questionnaires on each of their visits,” he said.
“These questionnaires will be sent to the customer services manager and feedback will be sent to the chief executive, chief nurse and medical director for further discussion. “A report will also be sent to the area the Mystery Shopper attended for the feedback to be discussed and for any actions to be taken.”