"Having complaints investigated but no results"

About: Manchester Royal Infirmary

Anything else?

My son is a congenital heart patient and his care was transferred to the Heart Centre in 2009/10. Up until last year 2012, his care seemed to be going OK but last year at his regular appointment everything started to go pear shaped. After reporting problems he was admitted urgently to regulate heart beat. He was given medication and discharged but then he received a follow up appointment to see a doctor he had never heard of and who certainly had never heard of him. He was asked why he had come to the appointment. Did he have an appointment, a letter or something? Words fail me. That prompted me to make a formal complaint through the PALS system. That was in September. In October I was told that an investigation had been completed and a letter of response would be with the Chief Executive for signature on 8th November. We still haven't received anything and it is now December. I have asked PALS to get back to me,now not responding so please don't tell me to call them again,already tried that. There was a fair degree of negligence with my son's treatment. He has a heart condition so to try and save him any more stress than he already has, I made the complaint on his behalf. Think I've made a mistake. It looks to me as though if you make a complaint you are just fobbed off, then you get concerned that the patient could be penalised because you have the cheek to complain. No 2 departments seem able to liaise for the good of 1 patient. Appointments get re-arranged several times before the patient actually gets an appointment. Test results get lost and nobody bothers to keep track or find out why. Even when they are supposed to have found out why the Trust executive don't bother telling you. How long does it take someone to sign their name on a letter for heavens sake? I am now writing to both the Chief Executive and the Trust Chairman but I'm not holding my breath that I will get any explanations or results of an investigation. And having now complained I am worried sick that my son will be penalised and messed about even more than he's been already. We know that some issues were addressed and were sort of cleared up but that doesn't explain why they happened in the first place and as more problems arise it looks like little if anything has been learned from what has already gone wrong. When letters are done for patients appointments if there are 2 departments involved for heavens sake cross reference the letters so that both departments know that another is also involved. It isn't rocket science to co-ordinate appointments between departments wherever possible, and it is possible. I agree with a previous poster that attendance buzzers do go unanswered. We saw it, my son experienced it when he was an in patient. If I hadn't been with him, there was no way he could have reached the buzzer when he was vomiting and when he wanted the loo he unplugged his own monitor when he got tired of waiting

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Responses

Response from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We are really sorry to learn of your experiences within the Manchester Heart Centre, and the difficulties in speaking to PALS. We are aware that a member of the PALS department has recently been in touch with you regarding your concerns; hopefully, we will soon be in a position to provide a full response to the concerns you have raised.

Please be assured that your complaint will not affect your son’s treatment with us in any way. It is important we know when our services do not match the needs of our patients and we use such complaints to try and improve the services we offer.

We sincerely hope your next visit to our team will be a more positive experience for your son and you.

The Patient Experience Team

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Response from Manchester Royal Infirmary

We are really sorry to learn of your experiences within the Manchester Heart Centre, and the difficulties in speaking to PALS. We are aware that a member of the PALS department has recently been in touch with you regarding your concerns; hopefully, we will soon be in a position to provide a full response to the concerns you have raised. Please be assured that your complaint will not affect your son’s treatment with us in any way. It is important we know when our services do not match the needs of our patients and we use such complaints to try and improve the services we offer. We sincerely hope your next visit to our team will be a more positive experience for your son and you. The Patient Experience Team Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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