16th Dec, 2017

Hospital complaints in Warwickshire on the rise

Leamington Editorial 24th Sep, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

COMPLAINTS to the ombudsman about South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) have more than doubled in the past year.

A report into the number of hospital complaints investigated by the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman revealed there have been 31 investigations in 2014-15 compared to just 15 the previous year.

Poor communication was the most common cause for complaint with errors in diagnosis and poor treatment the other most frequent reasons.

Communication complaints can refer to issues between the hospital and the patient or their family but can also be about issues between staff within the same or different hospitals.

The trust is responsible for Warwick, Leamington and Stratford Hospital, as well as the Ellen Badger Hospital in Shipston.

The ombudsman, who becomes involved when an inpatients or outpatients are unsatisfied with the response given to them at local level, accepted five inquiries about the trust for investigation – down two from the previous year.

A total of two complaints were upheld.

A SWFT spokesman told The Observer: “We encourage transparency and use complaints as an opportunity to learn and make improvements to the services we deliver.

“The increase in the number of inquiries made to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is reflective of the increase of clinical episodes carried out by the Trust in 2014/15 compared to the previous year. The number of these that resulted in investigation has decreased.

“We take every complaint very seriously and conduct a thorough investigation each time publishing information on a monthly basis through our public board meetings.”

Poor communication, errors in diagnosis and poor treatment were the most common reasons for complaints at other trusts across the country.

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