"Treatment at A&E and Complaint Process"

About: Ninewells Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as the patient),

I have numerous complaints about care and treatment and accuracy of records kept by A&E staff. all can be evidenced. It feels like staff are fully aware that they can do and say whatever they want and it will not be challenged – I think they are not even careful with what they write. In my case putting in a complaint led to further abuse because all throughout the complaints procedure they rely on what the professional writes and states without question even if it contradicts what they have already written. I think if they know if they have done wrong it is best to lie to cover their backs than admit the truth, that way they are supported by everybody. It seems as if nobody wants to believe a patient who has mental health problems. For example it is clearly written in my records that I have certain self inflicted injuries. somebody later wrote that I had been self inflicting injuries in the toilets - I have never had an injury to the parts of my body mentioned in the notes. But it seems that complaint people want to believe that this is the observation of the clinicians and refuse to even look at my arms and legs for evidence.

I have been told never to go to A&E again, and I think this is because I put in a complaint. I could give you hundreds of stories about Ninewells A&E and Associates, which shows that they have a lot of lessons to learn.

It seems as if they want evidenced facts from the complainant but not from the people defending their positions and integrity. It seems that they will accept anything and when the professional is in the wrong they will happily accept their inaccuracies and distort written facts from notes etc rather than the evidenced facts from a complainant.

The first complaint put me into disrepute with the health board and that continues without any of the complaints being addressed appropriately.

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Response from Tracey Passway, Clinical Governance and Risk Team Leader, Clinical Governance and Risk, NHS Tayside

Thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback. We are sorry to read of your experiences.

You may wish to consider contacting Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS) or independent advocacy for further support

PASS is available through your local Citizens Advice Bureau

Or telephone: 0845 296 1010

Website: www.patientadvicescotland.org.uk/

Independent advocacy is available from:

Advocating Together (Dundee)

01382 666601

Website: www.advocating-together.org.uk

Angus Independent Advocacy

01241 434413

Website: www.angusindadvocacy.org

Dundee Independent Advocacy Support

01382 205515

Website: www.diasdundee.org

Independent Advocacy Perth and Kinross

01738 587887

Website: www.ipak.org.uk

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Update posted by TACNinewells (the patient)

I have used the advocacy services mentioned. Although they are aware and empathetic with the situation there is little they can do to help. I believe often the complaint files are incomplete and contain large numbers of inaccuracies, some of which I think are submitted by middle management to protecting a member of their staff.

I also think that staff submit what is incomplete information that is important to them and designed to protect the staff, department or organisation should the complaint be taken further.

There are also governance meetings about these complaints which I am sure you are also well aware, being in the Clinical Governance Team, but I understand that the records of these meetings do not go into the complaint file of the complaint or complainant. Do they? Hence, they are not seen by the investigatory body or provided with a subject data access request.

I feel so much is covered up during these meetings between staff. Hence, inappropriate actions or behaviours are not brought into the open and some staff continue in their unspecified roles unchecked.

I have used advocacy but feel they are of little help to break through these barriers.

Updates, changes and questions related to this story