NHS apologises for mistakes in 180 cases
9:14am Friday 31st August 2012 in News
DELAYED cancer diagnosis, a patient not being referred to hospital and an incorrect radiology report for a child are just some of the 180 complaints made against NHS Bolton which have been upheld.
The complaints were mainly about clinical treatment and make up about half of those received.
In one case, a patient who lived outside Bolton was registered at a Bolton GP practice in error and without their knowledge, and in another, patients were told by the ophthalmic adviser and Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS)to get glasses from a practitioner whose shop had closed.
In each case, apologies were issued to patients or their families and health chiefs said “appropriate learning points were taken on board”. The upheld cases made up 45 per cent of the 403 complaints made to NHS Bolton, which includes GPs, dentists, pharmacists and optometrists, last year.
The overall number of complaints was down from 493 in 2010 to 2011.
The data, part of a Quality and Safety Report released by Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, comes as the NHS released data for written complaints across the country, revealing the number of written complaints made about GPs and dentists in Bolton had gone up by 22.9 per cent.
Figures show in 2010 to 2011, there were 205 complaints, compared to 252 in 2011 to 2012.
This means of this year’s 403 complaints, 252 were about GPs and dentists and 151 were about pharmacists and other NHS services, including the walk-in centre and the out-of-hours service.
An NHS Bolton spokesman said: “One of the key factors in the decrease in complaints is that as an organisation, we have been able to resolve more issues in a timely way and to the complainant’s satisfaction, before they enter into a formal process, as is recommended good practice.”
Cllr Andy Morgan, who sits on the Health, Overview and Scrutiny board, added: “It’s good to see the number of recorded complaints has decreased since the previous reporting period.
“This is slightly tinged by the number of complaints subsequently upheld.
“It is crucial that GPs and community health teams continue to have an open door policy that encourages patient feedback, whether that be negative or positive, to ensure these comments are used improve the service for future patients and prevent any re-occurrence.”