Nearly 400 complaints to hospital

IPSWICH Hospital today reassured patients and their families after disclosing it received nearly 400 formal complaints last year.Averaging out to be more than one a day, the hospital investigated 384 complaints submitted between January 1 and December 1, 2005.

IPSWICH Hospital today reassured patients and their families after disclosing it received nearly 400 formal complaints last year.

Averaging out to be more than one a day, the hospital investigated 384 complaints submitted between January 1 and December 1, 2005.

Following a Freedom of Information request by The Evening Star it supplied an itemised list of the categories the grievances fell into.

However, it was unable to supply a summary of their resolution or how many, if any, resulted in disciplinary action.


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The two biggest causes for complaint received by the hospital were about aspects of clinical treatment (151) and delays or cancellations of appointments (83).

These combined came to 61 per cent of the total grievances.

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The hospital said it does not hold data specifically linking complaints to disciplinary proceedings or to changes in procedures.

The only way it would be possible to discover the information is to look through every member of staff's file.

To overcome this proposals have now been put forward to amend the complaint recording procedures so that information regarding outcomes and procedural changes is captured as a matter of course. A team is currently working on implementing this proposal.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said: "We strongly encourage patients, relatives and visitors to let us know how we can improve services at the hospital, and to highlight any issues which they feel we need to address.

"Every complaint is carefully investigated by a senior member of staff. The results of the investigation are shared with the complainant either through a personal meeting or through written correspondence, depending on the wishes of the complainant.

"Any immediate actions highlighted by the investigation are acted upon at once. If there is any suggestion that members of staff may not have acted in line with the professional standards expected, and outlined in the Trust's employment policies and procedures, urgent action is taken to address this.

"Each complaint gives us the opportunity to look at how we can make improvements and what we need to do to bring about these important changes.

"Actions taking following recent complaints include running specific training courses (in communication skills, for example), developing new information leaflets, and making practical improvements such as new floors in bathrooms, for example.

"The latest figures we have show that more than 376,000 people were cared for at the Trust in the last year."

“If you have a complaint about the way the Trust has handled your request, write to Mr Andrew Reed, chief executive at the address shown below.

A copy of our Freedom of Information Act 2000 Complaints Procedure is available from the patient advice and liaison service (PALS) team, on request (telephone number 0800 328 7624).”

N Have you lodged a formal complaint with Ipswich Hospital? If so, how do you feel it was dealt with. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

N Any aspects of clinical treatment 151

N Appointments, delay/cancellation (out-patient) 72

N Communication/Information to patients 52

N Attitude of staff 27

N Admissions, discharge & transfer arrangements 25

N Hotel Services (including food) 23

N Appointments, delay/cancellation (in-patient) 11

N Policy and commercial decisions of trust 6

N Privacy and dignity 5

N Transport (ambulances and other) 3

N Aids and appliances 3

N Property and expenses 3

N Personal records 1

N Failure to follow agreed procedure 1

N Patients status, geographical discrimination 1

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