The latest Trust board Performance Report from BLPT reveals that "There were 2 complaints due for response in May which were not resolved within 25 working days. One was due to the complexity of the complaint; the other was due to unavailability of Trust staff involved in the investigation process due to sickness."
I wonder how the Trust Board responded to that. My response would be to ask people to cut the excuses. The HCC already lays down an immense window for Trusts to respond to complaints. To say you couldn't meet that due to the complexity of the complaint is rubbish - it's a matter of identifying the issues. To say you couldn't meet that due to staff being unavailable is also (imo) an excuse - if necessary you should be able to go to other staff for information; BLPT talk about team working.
Guidance from the Healthcare Commission states that,
The NHS (Complaints) Amendment Regulations 2006 specify a period of 25 working days for local resolution. The Regulations stipulate that the 25-day deadline can be extended, but only with the agreement of the complainant.
If I were on the Trust Board I would be asking whether the complainant HAD agreed to the extension.
More widely, I feel this links in to discussions I have had with others regarding the attitude of NHS Mental Health Trust management in particular towards their "service users". On the ground there is some variation in attitudes. However, it seems that in management there is still often an apparant expectation that people who are mentally ill are also less intelligent, easily distracted, not deserving of the full facts. I described it to someone else as a paternalistic attitude.
Now, when I am at my very worst, I know my thinking is slowed down. I also know that i tend to respond emotionally. However, that does not mean I (or anyone else) should be treated as if I was stupid (which has happened to me in the past).
Maybe this ties in with what Lindylooz was writing about - the need for a complete shift in attitudes towards mental health.