Midlands hospital bosses see rise in complaints

The number of complaints made to health bosses across the region has increased over the past 12 months, figures showed today.

hospital ward

The number of complaints made to health bosses across the region has increased over the past 12 months, figures showed today.

Figures reveal patients in Wolverhampton lodged more than in any other area, with the number of written complaints to the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust shooting up by 44.3 per cent to 417 in 2011/12, up from 289 the previous year.

New Cross chief executive David Loughton said: “When you consider we deal with nearly one million people a year it’s a very small percentage.”

Meanwhile, according to data released by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, Mid-Staffordshire NHS Trust, which runs Stafford Hospital, performed best of all hospital trusts across the Black Country and Staffordshire, with a 19.5 per cent drop in the number of complaints.

Last year, 492 complaints were received – down from 611 the previous year.

Patient experience chief at the trust, Julie Hendry, today welcomed the news and said the trust had worked hard to improve the way complaints were dealt with.“The trust has put in an enormous amount of effort into improving the timeliness, quality, openness and thoroughness of our complaints investigations through involving our local community,” she said.

The second highest increase in the number of complaints was at West Midlands Ambulance Trust, which saw a rise of 41.4 per cent from 222 to 314.

The number of complaints from patients and families at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Trust, which runs Kidderminster Hospital, has also shot up, with 706 complaints compared to 635 in 2010/11. Complaints at Sandwell Hospital rose from 750 to 771.

However, Walsall Healthcare Trust reported a slight drop of 1.5 per cent, down to 322 complaints.

Overall, across the West Midlands, the number of written grievances received increased by 0.6 per cent.

A total of 10,273 people across the region filed a complaint last year compared to 10,210 in 2010/11.

By Charlotte Cross