Hospital complaints rise

Concerns: Karen Partington, hospital chief executive
Concerns: Karen Partington, hospital chief executive

Hospital chiefs at Preston and Chorley hospitals have seen a rise in the number of complaints compared to the same period last year.

Bosses at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust, which runs the Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospitals, have reported that the total number of complaints they have received about patient experiences between April and September this year is 283.

However, the expected figure for this period of time was 252 and the number of complaints during the last quarter have risen compared to the same time last year with 151 complaints from July through to September.

In 2011, there were 116 complaints during the same months.

Karen Partington, chief executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “We always aim to provide the highest standards of care and take seriously any concerns patients have about their experiences.

“We use a wide range of mechanisms to gather feedback from patients and are committed to making changes to address any concerns they raise.”

Hospital bosses say they have made a large number of changes in services in response to past complaints from patients and their families.

These include more regular and frequent ward rounds for continuous assessment of patients’ conditions, protected mealtimes to ensure patients can eat without interruption, upgraded patient feedback devices and a revised process to incorporate the requirement to safeguard patient privacy and dignity.

As well as this, the hospital trust has established a specialist nurse for the elderly who will support and advise colleagues about care for older patients and developed a web-based service that allows renal patients to view and monitor their test results.