Compliments to hospital trust outweigh complaints

Royal Preston Hospital
Royal Preston Hospital
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Almost 600 complaints and more than 5,000 compliments were made to hospital chiefs in Central Lancashire in the last year, figures show.

At it’s recent board meeting Lancashire Teaching Hospitals reported that it had received 582 formal letters of complaint during 2013/14 - a reduction of 11.

The Trust - which runs the Royal Preston Hospital and Chorley and South Ribble Hospital - also said it had received 5,421 compliment and thank you cards - a decrease of 7 per cent on the previous year.

The board meeting heard that of the 593 complaints closed during 2013/14, which included a number received in the previous year, 341 were upheld or partially upheld.

Nearly 12 per cent of complaints resulted in a second letter, 32 complaints were referred by complainants to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman and, of those, three complaints were upheld and two partially upheld.

The Trust also said that 1,431 concerns were managed informally by the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and of the 408 concerns raised since January 2014, only 16 (4 per cent) were subsequently submitted as formal complaints with 96 per cent of informal concerns resolved. A spokesman for the Trust said they had 661,152 patient contacts in the time frame and said that the 32 complaints that were referred to the ombudsman were referred by the complainant themselves.

Karen Partington, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals said: “We are pleased to see a reduction in the number of complaints received as we always aim to get things right for all of our patients, all of the time.

“We have been working hard over the last year to review and improve our processes for managing concerns and complaints to try to ensure that they are satisfactorily resolved as quickly as possible.

“The majority of concerns raised by patients and /or their families are dealt with locally, either by the department or team treating the patient or through our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) without the person having to make a formal complaint, as we do appreciate that it can be frustrating and sometimes distressing to have to make a formal complaint.”