Trust take positives from complaints

St Helens Hospital
St Helens Hospital
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MORE than half of complaints made to St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust in the last year were upheld.

Of the 281 written complaints received by the trust between April 2014 and March 2015, 160 or 56.9 per cent, were upheld.

The percentage of upheld complaints is the third highest in Merseyside after Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, 69.4 per cent, and Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, 64.2 per cent.

A trust spokesman said: “In 2014/15, the number of complaints received by the Trust fell by 13% on the previous year. All complaints are taken seriously and are investigated thoroughly.

“The trust works closely with patients, their families, and our staff to promptly resolve issues wherever possible and this has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of complaints received, which is already low compared to similar organisations.

“The decision about whether to ‘uphold’ a complaint or not, is taken by trusts themselves.

“At this trust, rigorous judgement is made about this and if anything at all can be learned from a complaint then it is deemed ‘upheld’.

“This is part of a positive approach to complaints, where they are seen as valuable feedback, from which the trust can learn and improve.”

The number of complaints sits in the middle though, with Mersey Care NHS Trust receiving the most, 479, and Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust the least with 45.

The figures have been released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre for all types of NHS organisations and includes complaints about treatment, the attitude of staff and the food.

When quizzed about the previous years figures a spokesman for the trust claimed because they apologised to each person who was unhappy with their care, the complaint was classed as upheld.

St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group upheld none of the 34 complaints it received in the same period.