Saturday, 29 March 2008

Little gems from BLPT

The latest Trust Performance Report has actually been available online for a while, on BLPT's website. However, I've not really looked at it till now.
What struck me was the "analysis" of the Complaints Department performance.
3 complaints were referred to the Healthcare commission last month. To put this in context, two complaints were sent to the HCC during the previous quarter (ie three months) and only one in the quarter before that.
As a result of one previous complaint, the following recommendation was made by the CMHT "to improve consistency in Service User care: To recruit 3 new CPNs. " No record as to whether this actually happened, but from other information in the report relating to cutting costs (by cutting posts) I suspect not.
The questionnaire (yes, the one that was promised in November 2006) "has been circulated and consultation process complete. " It "will be circulated to those that have used our services within the past 6 months." This written in February - no sign of a questionnaire at my house as yet. Have they been sent out, I wonder.
Finally in this section, "A trial is in place to ensure that telephone callers are personally answered during office hours. Investigations in more effective ways to resource PALS/Complaints are underway e.g. by using service user volunteers. " Interesting. There were apparently only 6 complaints in February, but they need to use volunteers to ensure phone calls are answered? Value for money? What is the complaints office doing, I wonder, that it is so overwhelmed that it does not have time to answer calls (or, I could suggest, answer complaints following its own policy).


mandy lifeboats appeal said...

Hi D

I have to wonder if the complaints weren't all made about the same team

I know of 2 people who are disgusted at the way they are being treated. One asked if I thought they should make a complaint.

My gut reaction was yes then my knowledge of the bureaucracy and personal experience of paperwork ping pong, even with the aid of my MP, shifted me to no...but bottom line and what i said to them was "It is your call". I did say that if they felt they were being played, I would help them to take it further...just be moral support really. But people are scared to death to challenge. As the person said "The staff treat me badly enough now, I wouldn't want them to make things worse for me, because I complain". Such is the fear people feel in asking for what they should be getting already

It sucks.

Disillusioned said...

I suspect not all about the same team, but can't be sure. There are certain teams which are good, from my experience, and soem which are ... not. But I think the problem is bigger than the teams - there just is no accountability, and, as you highlight, people are (rightly, in my experience) afraid of complaining because they know their treatment will suffer. We are in a very vulnerable position as service users.

MMP said...

in another world, another area- our photocopying gent had this to say yesterday:
"I told the phone company, NO, we will not be having a system that can give messages and options to the folk ringing in.
Folk ringing in are already stressed out, our product has failed, they can't get on with ther work, they are upset.
We want an ordinary phone system and we will be paying a real person Good Money to answer that phone within four rings.
People need to talk to someone who can help them."

He's a good bloke and one who understands peole.
I'm sure he'd give a talk to yuor incompetant NHStrust

Disillusioned said...

Send him our way, MMP!

This is an office which has two departments (Complaints and PALS) with at least two full time members of staff whose own records suggest that they have about 30 -50 individuals contacting them each month. Now, I appreciate that those phone calls may generate enquiries, searches, requests etc - but even so! A real person at the end of the line - yes please, and even better if it is a real person who (a) knows how the system should work and (b) understands that people contacting them have a need and a right to be helped.

Argh - send him our way, please!