Concern over hospital complaints department

Peterborough City Hospital exteriors EMN-141118-141223009
Peterborough City Hospital exteriors EMN-141118-141223009

Three MPs have called for urgent changes to be made to how Peterborough City Hospital deals with complaints from patients.

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson, North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara and North East Cambridgeshire MP Steve Barclay have all hit out at the way the hospital deals with issues.

The trio have now written to Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt with their concerns.

Mr Jackson said: “Having seen a number of late and unhelpful responses from the City Hospital’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), I am very concerned about the accountability and willingness of the City Hospital to genuinely learn from its mistakes.

“The complaints department needs to ensure it sympathetically responds to complaints by patients in a timely fashion and realise it isn’t just a tick box exercise of dismissing rightly held concerns by patients who expect a professional level of care.”

Mr Vara added “I am concerned that the hospital’s complaints department is not up to the standard that the public have every right to expect which is to the detriment of patients and the hospital’s reputation.”

And Mr Barclay said: “I have supported constituents on a number of occasions in their dealings with the hospital and am deeply alarmed by their handling of complaints.

“In addition to their response times, their letters have included numerous inaccuracies with patients’ personal and medical information. This is unacceptable.

“I have written to the Health Secretary asking him to look into my concerns and set out any assistance he can offer to alleviate the situation.”

Stephen Graves, Chief Executive at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHSFoundation Trust, said work was being done to improve the service.

He said : “We understand that there have been issues with the timeliness and quality of our responses to complaints received, which is why we have put considerable effort into improving our performance.

“We have a Non-Executive Director-led committee, with external membership, that oversees our action plan and this has helped deliver considerable improvement in both the timeliness and the quality of our responses.

“I would like to extend my personal apology where we have not met people’s expectations but also thank the staff who day in day out work to provide the best possible care and service to our patients and the local public.

“I have contacted each individual MP so that we can talk through their individual concerns in greater detail.”