Popular Science News | UK NHS Problems | Feedback Not New

Popular Science News – UK NHS problems

Three years ago I wrote about a ‘new initiative’ the government had for improving the NHS. It was a unremarkable system where when patients at hospitals, and their friends, gave negative feedback the government would respond to the problem and say they would sort it out without actually presenting evidence that anything was actually done to make improvements. With junior doctors about to strike the topic is coming into the news again.

For example, three years ago I showed an example of the NHS website entry for Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital:

Popular Science News | UK NHS Problems | Feedback Not New

You can see that 64 out of 88 patients would recommend the hospital and therefore there were potentially 24 NHS problems that needed to be dealt with. Randomly looking at one of the complaints, ‘Steve1000,’ you discover:

“the lady who gave me the results told me they scan was fine – they couldn’t find anything and I should go back to my GP for pain relief. She said she would send a full report to my GP.

Unfortunately, the report she gave me was incorrect. I had a slipped disc and trapped nerve with 2 other discs misaligned. when I contacted my GP a week later, the results had not been sent through and my GP had to phone for them.

My view? Incredibly sloppy. I don’t know where the mistakes were made, but I attended for a scan and diagnosis and was given the wrong diagnosis. Fortunately, I had enough nouse to take it easy and not cause any more damage.”

Now, in a proper business, eg a hotel, if you get a serious complaint, say on Trip Advisor, it is in your interest to investigate the complaint and reply on the same media the complaint was made. Not so in the example above and my worry is that NHS problem feedback under the ‘new’ government Friends and Family feedback system will fail in exactly the same way and NHS problems will continue and thousands of avoidable patient deaths will still occur.

Three years later, looking at the same hospital, I find that little has changed and that there are still worrying patient feedback responses and, worse still, no indication that anything was every done about the complaints except for saying that the patient should complain. For example, at the top of the current list there was the following eternal complaint

‘no communication

My mum was on sea bathing ward just over a week ago, she’s 84 years old and she broke her hip after a fall at home. The lack of care she recieved was horrible, the communication between the nurses just does not exist. I spent many hours with my mum, whilst I was there I helped the other patients on the ward as they were sometimes waiting up to 20 minutes after pressing their buzzer. Most of the time it would get turned off and they where told to wait. As a consequence of this poor care my mum was taken back in the day after. Don’t worry about leaving the number for PALS underneath as I’m on to it already.

Visited in December 2015. Posted on 20 December 2015

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital replied on 28 December 2015

Thank you for letting us know – I am sorry to learn that the levels of care were not what we would expect for our patients. PALS will be in contact after the holidays.’


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