Ipswich Hospital has defended its reputation after figures revealed that more than 50 complaints were made against the Heath Road trust in October.
Grievances span a range of issues, including a consultant accused of lacking empathy and answering personal calls during an appointment, incorrectly labeled blood samples, a patient being discharged with an undiagnosed pelvis fracture and patients left in the corridors in Accident and Emergency.
The details of the 56 complaints – up from 48 on September – were contained in a report presented to hospital board members.
Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman Jan Ingle told the East Anglian Daily Times that the trust actively encourages feedback, both good and bad.
“Being open and transparent about not only the very positive things taking place in the hospital but also when we don’t always get it right is very important to us.
“All the complaints mentioned in the report to the public board have either been investigated or are under investigation and we carefully look into every aspect of all the issues which are raised.
“We then offer the person who raised the concerns to have a personal meeting to discuss the outcome of that investigation and we take every issue raised very seriously.
“We actively encourage people to tell us their story and whilst it is pleasing to note we get five times more compliments and praise, it’s really important that we take every complaint with the utmost seriousness.”
In one complaint lodged in October, a patient claimed they suffered physical abuse in the Brantham Assessment Unit – an accusation which is now being investigated by the adult safeguarding team.
In September, patient safety groups expressed concern after it emerged that there had been a near record number of serious avoidable incidents recorded by the NHS.
Surgery on the wrong part of the body, unnecessary procedures following cases of mistaken identity, foreign objects left behind after a procedure and patients falling out of windows were just a few of the so-called ‘never events’ recorded by the NHS last year.
There were 424 of these incidents in 2016/17 – a figure described as “disturbingly high” by campaign groups, who said the same mistakes were being made time and time again.
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The NHS is held in the highest regard in the UK – and rightly so. But when mistakes are made and the duty of care to which patients are entitled is not met, it’s important to hold the health service to account.
Making a claim could result in financial help to deal with the consequences of an error and could go some way to ensuring the same mistake isn’t repeated.
Gotelee has a wealth of experience in this area and can advise you whether or not you have the basis of a claim. If you do, we can support you through the process at any of our offices in Ipswich, Hadleigh, Felixstowe, Woodbridge or Melton.
To find out more, call us on 01473 298125.