Upheld complaints

Upheld Complaints – December 2018

Following the inquiry into patient care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Robert Francis recommended that NHS trusts should publish information about upheld complaints on their website. As part of our commitment to share information and improve learning, Mersey Care NHS Trust publishes upheld complaints every month on our website.

Every year the trust receives approximately 500 complaints from service users, relatives and carers in both local and high secure services.

If a complaint is received which relates to one specific issue, and substantive evidence is found to support the allegation made, the complaint is recorded as ‘upheld’.

If a complaint is made regarding more than one issue, and one or more of these issues are upheld, the complaint is recorded as ‘partially upheld’. 

Where there is no evidence to support any allegations made, the complaint is recorded as ‘not upheld’.

Sometimes it’s possible to resolve a complaint by arranging a meeting with the complainant and those involved in the care of the service user, for example, the consultant psychiatrist, team leader or service manager. Other times, it’s more appropriate to formally investigate a complaint, after which a response letter is sent to the complainant from the Chief Executive.

It is the responsibility of the Complaints Department to identify any trends or themes within particular services, on certain wards etc., to see what action can be taken by the trust to prevent the same issues recurring in the future.

 

The following complaints were closed and upheld/partially upheld in December 2018:

  • A child has received the flu vaccination at school despite his mother not giving consent.
    Action taken: a number of recommendations have been made to ensure that consent forms are checked properly prior to vaccination. An apology has also been provided.

  • A relative has raised concerns about the care and treatment afforded to her mother during her inpatient stay. The investigator found that the level of communication between ward staff and the patient’s family was poor.
    Action taken: The will be discussions with staff around the importance of engaging patient’s families in an appropriate manner. An apology has been provided.

  • A service user stated that a nurse perforated his ear drum whilst carrying out an ear syringing procedure. It was ascertained that whilst the procedure may not have been the direct cause of the perforation, clinical records did not accurately reflect what had happened during the procedure.
    Action taken: An apology has been provided and staff have been reminded of the importance of ensuring that clinical entries are accurate, clear and robust.

  • A patient has raised concerns about damage to an item of property.
    Action taken: An apology was provided and an ex-gratia payment has been offered.
  • A service user has reported that his off ward leave did not take place as it was not recorded in the ward diary. This was due to an oversight by staff.
    Action taken: An apology has been provided.

  • A relative has raised concerns that she had difficulties getting in touch with a team and they had not returned her calls.
    Action taken: Several recommendations have been put in place to improve communication between the team and the service user’s family and an apology has been provided.

  • A service user has reported that an item of property has gone missing from the ward.
    Action taken: An apology was provided and an ex-gratia payment has been offered.

  • A relative has raised concerns that there are not enough staff available to facilitate ward visits. The investigation concluded that this was due to a communication error.
    Action taken: An apology has been provided.

To read previous upheld complaints click here.