Western Sussex Hospitals takes steps to improve after complaints

Hospital bosses have been taking steps to improve facilities in Worthing and Chichester after revealing the number of complaints received earlier this year

Changes to signposts, training sessions and more feedback from patients are just some of the ways the Western Sussex Hospitals Trust has been taking action in a bid to boost its service.

The positive steps were a measure to tackle issues raised by disgruntled patients between April and June.

Board papers show the trust, which runs St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands hospitals, received 851 complaints during the three-month period.

Of these, 216 related to clinical treatment, 146 were linked to dates for appointment, and 118 were to do with verbal communication. A further 77 related to written communication, while 60 dealt with dates of admission or attendance.

In a report to the trust’s board, Tracey Nevell, customer relations manager, wrote: “Co-ordination of medical treatment continues to be an area that the trust receives most of its clinical complaints about.

“This category focuses on the patient’s pathway through the healthcare system. 61 issues were raised during the quarter. For the majority of patients and relatives, a detailed explanation in writing and face-to-face meetings resolves worries and concerns of this nature.”

Of the 216 complaints, 40 were related to nursing care – 27 of them at St Richard’s and 13 in Worthing.

Four new concerns were taken to the next stage and referred to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman; of those, one was declined, one is still being investigated and two were passed back to the trust for “further local resolution”.

The report also showed Worthing and Southlands hospitals received 419 plaudits, while St Richard’s had 593.