Data: 10,000 Compliments beat 1,000 complaints at RD&E
ALMOST 1,000 complaints were submitted to the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital over the past two years.
But the hospital also received around 10,000 compliments during the same period, according to the spokeswoman.
A total of 949 complaints were made during 2011 and 2012 – an average of more than one a day.
The number of people complaining went up by more than 100 last year, with 422 complaints made in 2011 and 527 in 2012.
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But an RD&E spokeswoman stressed that the increase represented only 0.085 per cent of the number of patients treated at the hospital over the two years, and the increase in complaints is mirrored by an increase in the number of patients treated.
One of the highest number of complaints involved staff attitude, with 142 made about consultants, nursing and other staff.
Eighty nine people complained about the quality of care they received at the hospital, with 160 complaining about the treatment they were given.
Delay in diagnosis and incorrect diagnosis accounted for 49 complaints, with 40 complaints about communication issues.
Departments complained about include Emergency Department, 107, the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Centre, 88, and Surgical Outpatients, 66. In 2011 the average length of time it took the hospital to respond to a complaint was 8.9 weeks – last year this reduced to six weeks.
The spokeswoman said: "We put patient care at the heart of all we do and therefore value all the feedback we receive. If a patient, or member of their family, complains we investigate their concerns and report back to them on what we have found and any actions taken.
"We also produce a quarterly report for our trust board to help with their governance processes. We had a number of complaints about cancelled operations, length of wait for surgery and length of wait for review and treatment – these occurred during two years where the trust was significantly affected by winter pressures. As a result, the trust reviewed and overhauled its winter planning arrangements as part of the wider health community, with support from community hospitals and GPs to manage admissions and discharges.
"This is so that we look after only those patients who really need hospital care."
To deal with this increased demand, the trust also opened two new wards this winter with an additional 28 beds for older medical patients which has eased the pressure on surgical beds and led to fewer cancellations.
The spokeswoman said: "Treatment and quality of care categories are very large and cover a wide range of issues raised by complainants.
"We are in the process of breaking these two areas down for more accurate recording of these issues. In the meantime, as well as conducting a rigorous internal audit and reporting to our regulators we are also in the process of a major transformation programme which focuses on the patient experience, ensuring their interests come first."