Hospital has most upheld complaints

Wigan Infirmary
Wigan Infirmary
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WIGAN Infirmary received almost 400 complaints last year - and all of them were upheld.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS trust handled a total of 391 grievances in the financial year of 2013/14, and as 100 per cent of those had been substantiated, it held the worst performing record out of 10 NHS Foundation trusts in Greater Manchester.

But in terms of numbers of complaints, the trust sits in the middle, with the highest being 1,192 and the lowest being 66.

These can range from the welfare of patients, treatment and food, and use of palliative end-of-life care.

However, a spokesman for the Trust pointed out that, as a rule, it apologises to all its patients after they have logged a complaint, which then categorises it as upheld.

The spokesman added that the number of allegations had fallen by 20 per cent from the previous financial year.

She said: “We welcome the views of people who have experience of using our services, even if they are critical. All complaints give us an insight into what our patients are thinking and provide an opportunity to change the service if something is not working.

“During the year 2013-2014 we received 391 formal complaints. This demonstrated a 20 per cent decrease from the previous year. Each of the formal complaints received were upheld. It is important to note that a single complaint can often cover more than one issue.

“We endeavour to make it ‘easy’ to raise concerns and the Patient Relations/Patient Advise and Liaison Service (PALS) information is readily available on the website, and in ward and clinic areas. We provide a number of ways to raise concerns, which includes completing comment cards, speaking to ward staff, or calling a senior nurse directly.

“PALS continue to work proactively. The Patient Relations/PALS Team works closely with the divisions and departments within WWL to resolve concerns and any problems as they happen. This is reflected in the increased number of concerns which have been dealt with, and the decrease in the number of formal complaints.

“It is vital to deal promptly with concerns ensuring early resolution and satisfaction.

“Recommendations from the Francis Report, the Keogh Report, the Berwick Report and the Ann Clwyd report have all been reviewed to make improvements to our systems and there are plans to expand the work we do to ensure the continuing improvement of our patients’ experience.

“We continue to escalate any serious complaints, which are monitored and discussed on a weekly basis. The team make prompt contact with complainants and offer opportunities to meet with them to discuss their concerns in an open and honest manner.”

Meanwhile, Wigan Borough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) received six complaints in 2013/14, and none of those were upheld.

There were 88 grievances logged against Bridgewater Community Healthcare, with 54 substantiated.

A spokesman for Bridgewater said: “We welcome all patient feedback, including concerns and complaints. All staff are trained to deal with issues and concerns as soon as they arise so they don’t become a formal complaint.”