"Patient Opinion and the NHS complaints procedure"

About: Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust

(as the patient),

I can understand why this website (Patient Opinion) exists and the difficulties and problems some people have with the NHS Complaints Procedure. I believe many use this site as a vent to their feelings when they feel that a part of the NHS has not treated them particularly well. The NHS complaints procedure where a local resolution has to be sought first and if then not satisfied the complaint has to go to the Health Service Ombudsman is in my view and in practice a clumbsy and dissappointing procedure where a good outcome is not always easy to obtain. It can also be a very long winded process where at the end there is no guarantee of justice.

Personally I have found with a NHS Mental Health Trust that their responses to my complaints (yes plural) have been inaccurate and inadequate. I have felt that they did not fully read each complaint of mine and wanted me to go to the Ombudsman so that they could brush it away. At the time I was so mentally exhausted that going to the Ombudsman was an ordeal I could not face so I just gave up feeling angry and resentful by being treated in such a poor way.

I welcome the day when the NHS complaints procedure also encompasses the patients right not to suffer any more distress due to this procedure whether or not they have an advocate.

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Responses

Response from Nicholas Dent, PET Manager , Patient Experience Team, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust

I am very sorry that you have found our complaints process taxing although the two tier nature of NHS complaints handling is one established by government regulation and so outside of the gift of ours, or any other, trust.

By this I mean that complainants are encouraged to raise complaints with the local provider in the first instance but can then refer to the ombudsman if local resolution is not possible. This does mean that complaints are considered in the first instance by the organisation responsible, and ensures any learning can be made locally.

I am sorry if you were not satisfied with our response, if you wish to discuss your concerns please call me and I will consider if anything further could be done to resolve your concerns.

My number is 01227 812370, or you can email patientexperience@kmpt.nhs.uk.

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Update posted by JAMES19 (the patient)

My concerns are the response letters to my complaints. Its as though my complaints were at best only half read. The responses that I have received to my complaints are not only inadequate but also inaccurate to a very large extent. Anyone can (and has) see that this is so comparing each complaint made with the response letter received. I am happy to give you examples of this.

Response from Nicholas Dent, PET Manager , Patient Experience Team, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust

It would be inappropriate to discuss an individual complaint on this website but I would be pleased to consider your views if you wished to contact me either by telephone on 01227 812370, or you can email patientexperience@kmpt.nhs.uk.

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Update posted by JAMES19 (the patient)

It would be better to have your address as too many documents to email.

I will be abroad for the next 4 to 5 weeks