Hospital complaints fall

FORMAL complaints made at Ipswich Hospital dropped from 361 to 320 last year, it emerged today.New figures show the majority of complaints were across clinical areas of surgery and medicine and the main areas of concern were care provided (89) and delays (55).

THE NUMBER of formal complaints made at Ipswich Hospital dropped from 361 to 320 last year.

New figures show the majority of complaints were across clinical areas of surgery and medicine and the main areas of concern were care provided (89) and delays (55).

All of the complaints were acknowledged within 20 working days and 89per cent were responded to within 20 days, compared to a national average of 75pc.

The 320 complaints, from April 2006 to March this year, represent 0.08pc of patient activity.

However, figures recorded so far this year show 18 complaints were made in April, 43 in May and 44 in June - well above last year's average.

Out of the 320 complaints, 21 went to the Health Commission for an independent review and no cases were referred to the health ombudsman.

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The hospital said the delay in responding to some complaints was largely down to complexity of cases and staff availability.

It also said several changes have been made a result of following up on complaints. For example, a change of admission times for elective surgery afternoon patients has been made to avoid delays, the menu for children with allergies has been improved, an a policy agreement for parents and carers to accompany children for non-invasive diagnostic imaging examinations has been made.

Between July 2006 and March this year, 2,136 compliments were received.

N What do you think of the service provided at Ipswich Hospital? Have you made a complaint or compliment? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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