Doncaster and Bassetlaw hospitals report fall in number of complaints

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The number of formal complaints submitted to Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals continued its recent downward trend in 2018.

The trust which runs the hospitals received 388 written complaints from patients and their families in 2018, according to new NHS figures. That was down from 411 in 2017-18, and 563 as recently as 2015-16.

Cindy Storer, deputy director of quality and governance at the trust, said: “We encourage all feedback from our patients and recognise any complaint as an opportunity to learn and improve.”

To put the figures in context, each year the trust cares for around 65,000 inpatients, 540,000 outpatients and 170,000 Emergency Department attendances.

Doncaster and Bassetlaw bucked a wider trend which saw acute trusts across England record 76,500 complaints last year, up from 57,000 in 2015.

More than half the complaints to the trust raised issues about medical treatment while in hospital, and nine per cent concerned the admissions and discharge process.

In total, the trust resolved 429 formal complaints last year, including some from previous years.

In 19 per cent of cases, evidence was found to support the complaint and an admission was made by the trust, and 63 per cent were recorded as partially upheld.

The remainder were deemed to be unsubstantiated, frivolous or vexatious.

Ms Storer added: “We also try to address any concerns through a wide-range of activities. A number of improvements have been made due to direct patient feedback, such as increasing our visiting hours to enable family and carers to stay connected to their loved ones at a time that suits them.

“We have also introduced the Sleep Helps Healing campaign to keep night-time noise to a minimum, as well as projects such as ‘Making Mealtime Matters’ to try and ensure we deliver the best patient care and experience from admission to discharge.”