Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s record does us proud

Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Calow  'Main Entrance
Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Calow 'Main Entrance

Watchdogs have revealed that Chesterfield Royal Hospital Trust’s complaint statistics are among the lowest in the country.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman recorded 805 complaints for the Royal during 2013 and 2014 with only 32 enquiries made to the ombudsman and only two cases were upheld out of nine investigated.

Statistics for 2013/14 were drawn from as many 140,706 recorded, clinical incidents at the Royal.

The ombudsman also received 18 enquiries relating to complaints to the Royal during the first and second quarter of the 2014 to 2015 period and after investigating four cases it only upheld two cases.

Parliamentary and health service ombudsman Julie Mellor said: “There are lots of reasons why numbers of complaints vary between hospitals and this could be due to the size of the organisation or types of patients it serves.

“We are publishing this data because every complaint presents an opportunity to improve services.

“We hope NHS leaders use the data to identify themes and recurring problems in order to understand what they have done well and how they can improve their complaint handling.”

The ombudsman recorded poor communication, diagnosis errors and poor treatment at the top of hospital complaints during its national survey including England’s 156 hospital trusts.

It also highlighted other common complaints as staff attitude, no apologies when things go wrong and unnecessary, treatment delays.

As the final recipient in the complaints process, the Ombudsman received 12,353 enquiries from complainants nationally during its 18 month report, published last month, and it accepted 2,497 and upheld 44per cent of these complaints. By comparison, Barts Health NHS Trust received 2,451 complaints during 2013 and 2014 and the Ombudsman received 289 enquiries, accepted 43 to investigate and upheld 12 cases.

But it dealt with 579,271 clinical incidents.

A Chesterfield Royal Hospital spokesman said: “We take the issue of complaints very seriously and actively seek our patients’ views to continuously improve the services we provide. We have a highly visible, open and transparent complaints procedure including information on how to make a complaint throughout the organisation and a highly visible, proactive front of house presence with our ’Assistance and Complaints Service, co-operating fully on the occasions when the

Ombudsman becomes involved.

“This report demonstrates that we have a thorough and robust investigation process, completed to the satisfaction of the Ombudsman, ensuring that measures are put in place to reduce the likelihood of an incident reoccurring.”