"Complaint response : a fantasy"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

Our 20 year old daughter received very poor care on Sonning Ward back in February this year. We sent in an official complaint. Today we have had most of the response. The complaint with 111 we have had no response yet at all. The official response should have been with us on May 15th. We received it today, June 17th. Having taken that long to do an investigation you would have thought it would have been worth waiting for. But no. The only person who apologised was the Sister who had been the most helpful on the ward. Apparently the consultant who was unbelievably rude appears to think he was professional and puts that down to the fact he has a Masters. He may have a Masters in surgery. But communication skills zero. Our main complaint was about lack of adaquate pain relief and communication. Also the attitude of the ward staff including refusing to allow my daughters Minister of Religion to visit. All the response concluded was a list of excuses and a vague action plan. Fortunately and after a 5 day stay which left my daughter so traumatised she has had to have counselling we were transferred to the John Radcliffe in Oxford at our request as she had had all her surgery there. My daughters comment said it all. "They did more for her at the JR in 3 hours than they did in 5 days at RBH". What is the point of complaining when the response demonstrates a lack of understanding and a true willingness to listen to the patients experience. However: we did complain about her care in A/E. We were offered a meeting with A/E matron who arranged for us to meet her and the consultant who had traiged our daughter. They did everything right. From being totally terrified about going back to A/E they gave us confidence and a written care plan if she has to go back. They were well prepared, polite, they listened, took their time to let us tell our story, ask questions and you could not have asked for better resolution. Maybe other departments need some decent investigation and complaint training. Our next step is the Ombudsman. What is the point of wasting anymore time asking the RBH to reinvestigate. It is a culture problem and until that changes there can be no learning.

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

We would not wish any patient or family to be worried about our ability to meet their needs and so would welcome the opportunity to meet with you in order that we can better address your concerns. We understand you have been in contact with our Patient Relations Team and that they are working with you to arrange a meeting to discuss the issues of concern in more detail.

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