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Complaints over Bradford and Airedale hospitals decline
Written complaints to the district’s hospitals have dropped in the last year, but those to Bradford District Care Trust have gone up, new figures reveal.
The figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, responsible for Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke’s, has seen written complaints go from 521 in 2011/12 to 447 in 2012/13, a 14 per cent drop.
The Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, responsible for Airedale Hospital, had 67 written complaints in 2012/13, a 6.9 per cent fall from 72 in 2011/12.
But the care trust had 76 complaints in 2011/12 and 84 in 2012/13, a 16.9 per cent increase.
The care trust has been the main provider of mental health and learning disabilities services since 2002 and on April 1, 2011, the majority of NHS Bradford and Airedale’s community health services were transferred to it.
The complaints ranged from staff attitude and lack of support to medication issues.
Nicola Lees, deputy chief executive of the care trust, said: “Many informal complaints, concerns and comments made or raised on behalf of the people who use our services are effectively dealt with on the spot by staff, managers and the Patient Advice and Liaison Service. Where this is not possible, or at the person’s request, patients, service users and carers or their relatives are able to access the formal complaints procedure.
“Taking into account the transfer of community services in 2011, the rise in the number of complaints is not seen as a significant increase.”
The number of written complaints about NHS organisations in England was 162,000 during 2012-13. All NHS organisations in England are required to operate the NHS Complaints Procedure and since April 2011 it has been mandatory for all organisations to supply this information.
Debra Fairley, deputy director of nursing at the Airedale trust said: “We aim to resolve any concerns raised by patients, and their relatives and carers, at the time they are raised and our Patient Advice and Liaison Service team work with hospital staff to do this wherever possible.
“While we are pleased that the number of formal complaints is less than last year, we are never complacent and will always investigate any we receive thoroughly and continue to try to resolve as many issues as possible when they happen.”
A spokesman for Bradford Teaching Hospitals trust said: “We have changed our approach to complaints handling over the last year, including revising the role of Matrons and bringing together other services which impact on patient experience. Our complaints process is being reviewed to improve the way we respond and ensure that any lessons learned are shared across the whole organisation.”
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