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Lichfield patients to benefit from new NHS complaints system

Samuel Johnson Community Hospital

Samuel Johnson Community Hospital

South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust, who provide the Samuel Johnson Community Hospital in Lichfield as well as other services, have announced improvements to their complaints system that make it “simpler, more effective, quicker and more personal for patients.”

The system was implemented on 1st April 2009 in line with the national NHS complaints policy.

Yvonne Sawbridge, Director of Quality and Performance said: “The new system is already improving the support that we give to patients and we have received some positive feedback.

“We now have far more personal contact with the patient or family member who is making the complaint and more authority to work with the healthcare providers, on their behalf. This helps us to effectively confirm the issues and problems and find out what outcome they anticipate.

Yvonne added: “An effective complaints process is essential for the NHS and for patients. In the ideal world every patient should receive a positive service and be happy with the outcome of their treatment. Unfortunately this does not always happen.

“Patients and their families often have a negative perception of the reaction that they will receive if they complain and the vast majority won’t tell us if they are unhappy. We do need more people to tell us directly – after all we are buying local NHS services with public money, and can take up complaints with service providers to effect change.

“By streamlining the complaints procedure we want to attract more complaints giving us access to those quietly dissatisfied patients. We then have the maximum opportunity to solve their problems, which results in improvements in the service – that way everyone benefits from the complaint.”

The complaints team at South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust can be contacted by phone on 01889 571 826 or 01889 571 810, or by e-mail on compalints@southstaffspct.nhs.uk. More information can be sought on the South Staffordshire PCT web site.

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