MPs are “deeply alarmed” at the way Peterborough City Hospital handles complaints

Peterborough City Hospital

Peterborough City Hospital - Credit: Archant

Three of the region’s MPs have called for action saying they are “deeply alarmed” about the way Peterborough City Hospital handles complaints.

Steve Barclay is calling for Peterborough Hospital to review how it handles complaints

Steve Barclay is calling for Peterborough Hospital to review how it handles complaints - Credit: Archant

The trio have called for a review after hearing about delays in response times, serious errors in correspondence and a failure on the hospital’s part to take responsibility for their actions.

The hospital has apologised saying they have contacted the MPs to discuss the problems faced by patients living in the catchment area.

Steve Barclay (North East Cambridgeshire), Stewart Jackson (Peterborough) and Shailesh Vara (North West Cambridgeshire) have joined forces to lodge their concerns.

Mr Barclay said: “I have supported constituents on a number of occasions in their dealings with the hospital and am deeply alarmed by their handling of complaints. In addition to their response times, their letters have included numerous inaccuracies with patients’ personal and medical information. This is unacceptable.

“I have written to the Health Secretary asking him to look into my concerns and set out any assistance he can offer to alleviate the situation.”

He has written to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health, to set out the detail behind their concerns and high level discussions with health ministers are planned in the next few weeks.

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Mr Jackson said: “Having seen a number of late and unhelpful responses from the City Hospital’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), I am very concerned about the accountability and willingness of the City Hospital to genuinely learn from its mistakes.

“The complaints department needs to ensure it sympathetically responds to complaints by patients in a timely fashion and realise it isn’t just a tick box exercise of dismissing rightly held concerns by patients who expect a professional level of care.”

Mr Vara added: “I am concerned that the hospital’s complaints department is not up to the standard that the public have every right to expect which is to the detriment of patients and the hospital’s reputation.

“Problems include a lack of urgency in dealing with complaints as well as a failure to provide regular updates on specific cases. This and more leads to a lack of confidence for patients and the senior management needs to urgently take action to address these concerns.”

Stephen Graves, Chief Executive at Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We understand that there have been issues with the timeliness and quality of our responses to complaints received, which is why we have put considerable effort into improving our performance.

“We have a non-executive director-led committee, with external membership, that oversees our action plan and this has helped deliver considerable improvement in both the timeliness and the quality of our response.

“I would like to extend my personal apology where we have not met people’s expectations, but also thank the staff who day in day out work to provide the best possible care and service to our patients and the local public.

“I have contacted each MP so that we can talk through their individual concerns in greater detail.”