hands reading book

Upheld Complaints

Upheld Complaints – January 2020

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 January 2020:


  • A service user reported that items of property went missing whist they were an inpatient. The Trust has apologised that the correct procedure was not followed and an ex-gratia payment has been offered. 
  • Service user raised concerns about the care she received from the District Nurse Team, following surgery.


Treatment Rooms are to look into developing regular Safety Huddle meetings to improve the remote working arrangements of staff within this service and help with continuity of care. Staff are to attend a learning session for holistic assessment and pain assessment. The recording of information on templates as opposed to free text will be introduced to support appropriate record keeping, including any changes to wound management.


  • Service user raised concerns about the care he received from the Hospital Liaison Team.

The service user has received an apology and we have confirmed that the referral pathway is currently being reviewed.


  • Family member raised concerns about the care a service user received when she moved into the area.


A breakdown in communication was identified. Norris Green Hub now has permanent administration cover. It has also been recommended that anybody in a similar situation will be allocated a care coordinator to act as a point of contact during the transfer of care process and ensure that the required documentation is competed and received in a timely manner.


  • Family member raised concerns that a service user was allowed off the ward unescorted, without their knowledge and subsequently attempted to take his own life.


The Trust have agreed to consider informing next of kin/family when leave is agreed, with service user’s consent. Staff should also ensure that leave cards are provided consistently when a service user utilises leave.