Complaints rise at hospitals

Peterborough City Hospital
Peterborough City Hospital
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Complaints at Peterborough City and its sister hospitals increased by 10 per cent last year.

The figure was revealed at the first Annual Public Meeting of the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust.

Peterborough City and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust merged last year.

Deputy chief executive office Catherine Walker said: “In 2016/2017, PSHFT registered some 404 complaints and 172 complaints for HHCT, giving a combined total of 576 complaints.

Ms Walker, who takes over as CEO following the retirement of Stephen Graves, added:“Since 1 April 2017, NWAFT has registered 635 complaints, which is an increase over the previous year of just over 10%.

“Many of the complaints have been about capacity and cancellation of appointments and operations, and we have recognised that more efficient communication remains a significant theme on the road to alleviating complaints”.

She added: “Cost improvement targets have been set to deliver £16.2m in the coming year.”

Trust chairman Mr Rob Hughes told the meeting : “As a result of the two organisations merging, we are working together to be the best at delivering outstanding care to our local community, which is in line with our vision for the trust, now serving over 700,000 people with a staff of approximately 6,100.’’

Mr Hughes said of the new trust: “We now have access to facilities at three tremendous sites, serving seven local authorities with a total of 916 beds. Of these, 635 beds are at our state-of-the-art, purpose-built-facility, Peterborough City Hospital at Bretton Gate, 304 beds are here at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and 22 beds serve Stamford & Rutland Hospital.

“Of our 6,177 staff, 4,337 are based at Peterborough City Hospital, 1,750 at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, and 90 staff are based at Stamford & Rutland Hospital.”

Departing chief executive officer Stephen Graves, added: “The trust has a large number of operational targets to meet throughout any given year, and like many hospitals providing emergency care, we have seen a continued rise in emergency activity at both the Peterborough City and Hinchingbrooke Hospital sites.

“This, in turn, has seen a higher number of patients requiring admission to our wards for ongoing care or treatment, so that for 2016/2017 we saw 64,052 non-elective admissions, while in 2017/2018 that number had risen by 5.1% to 67,342.

“In terms of our financial model for 2017/2018 the Trust recorded a financial operating deficit of £38.9m, against a control total of £42.4m.

“One of the key factors in this overspend has been an increase in pay costs.

“This was due, in part to the increase in numbers of patients and operational activity, which has been significantly higher than the levels that were included in the Trusts’ contracts, coupled with the fact that we have a very, very expensive, shiny, purpose-built facility based in Peterborough with an extremely high mortgage”.