A 22 month study of patient complaints at a National Health Service hospital

Authors

  • Sajith Siyambalapitiya,

    1. Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, UK
    2. University of Sheffield, Human Metabolism, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
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  • Julie Caunt,

    1. Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, UK
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  • Natalie Harrison,

    1. Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, UK
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  • Lesley White,

    1. Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, UK
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  • Denise Weremczuk,

    1. Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, UK
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  • Devaka JS Fernando

    Corresponding author
    1. Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, UK
    2. University of Sheffield, Human Metabolism, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK
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Devaka J. S. Fernando, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, KingsMill Hospital, Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire NG17 4JL, UK. Email: devaka.fernando@sfh-tr.nhs.uk

Abstract

Patient complaints are an important source of information for service improvements. We audited patient complaints made about medical care in a National Health Service District general hospital over a 22 month period. Complaints were about medical care, nursing care, attitudes of staff, poor communication, clinical delay (9%) and hospital environment. The complaints department closed 66% complaints within 20 days. The majority of the complaints were directly related to clinical care, poor communication, attitudes of staff and nursing care. However, 99% of patients were satisfied with an explanation and an apology indicating that almost all have been due to a lack of good communication than due to real deficiencies in the clinical care. The hospital management has investigated the majority of cases within 20 days and has made several policy changes after the investigations.

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