Upheld Complaints – October 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 October 2018:
- A patient reported that some of his property went missing when he transferred to another ward.
Action taken: The investigator was unable to ascertain what happened to the service user’s property and an ex-gratia payment was offered to compensate for the missing items.
- A service user raised concerns regarding the lack of continuity in the care she has received. She also felt that staff had breached her confidentiality.
Action taken: The investigator ascertained that poor communication within the Team had led to lack of continuity. However, it was concluded that staff had not breached the service user’s confidentiality.
- Relatives raised concerns regarding the care and treatment that their daughter was receiving.
Action taken: It was ascertained that the care that had been provided to the service user was to Trust standard but the investigator did request that the family be provided with additional information on services they can access.
- A relative raised a number of concerns relating to the care her brother had received whilst an inpatient.
Action taken: An apology was provided for the experience and measures were put in place to ensure these issues did not reoccur.
- A patient raised concerns regarding property items that were disposed of without his consent.
Action taken: An apology was provided and the service user was reimbursed for his missing property.
- A relative raised concerns regarding the care and treatment his mother received. He also stated that a number of items of property had gone missing.
Action taken: The investigator identified some failings regarding the care and treatment that had been provided, which included mis-communication with the family. The patient was also reimbursed for an item of property that could not be located.
- A service user raised a number of concerns relating to medication, communication, treatment, diagnosis and inaccuracies within his clinical notes.
Action taken: The investigator ascertained that although the service user’s diagnosis was correct, an apology was provided for lack of communication, and treatment that was not followed up by the team.
- A family of a service user raised concerns regarding lack of communication with the Team.
Action taken: An apology was provided as it was ascertained that the family were not kept updated or informed of decisions whilst the service user was an inpatient.
- A relative raised concerns relating to lack of continuity of care for her brother.
Action taken: An apology was provided as the investigator concluded that there was poor communication with the family and staff were reminded of the importance of recording discussions with family and recorded in clinical notes.
- A relative was unhappy with the care or medication provided to her mother and felt that the team did not listen to the concerns she raised.
Action taken: The investigator concluded that the medication and decisions the team had made relating to the service users care and treatment was correct but did feel that there was lack of communication with the family and an apology was provided.