"My mother was admitted for treatment ..."

About: Southampton General Hospital

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My mother was admitted for treatment this morning - I have yet to speak with her. My father was treated in April and while he seemed satisfied I was not terribly impressed by the caring, knowledge of patient requirements, cleanliness and decor.

However...on reading the reviews on your website (unfortunately the negatives stand out more than the positives, but I don't think that 47 out of 73 reviews recommending is terribly good), I am struck by how the standard response to a complaint is to ask the complainant to contact PALS.

How about showing a bit more caring and help, by forwarding the complaint to PALS yourself, telling the complainant that you have done so while also apologising for their concerns/stress, and also then give them the PALS contact details so that they can follow up themselves. Also, on forwarding the complaint to PALS, perhaps tell the complainant that they will be contacted by PALS within a certain time frame.

That way, the complainant feels that they are being listened to, and doesn't just have the door shut in their face: Sorry, not my problem, try next door, and have to start from scratch again, now feeling rather miffed.

Hopefully, after my mother's visit I will be able to "recommend" rather than "not recommend" but your stats do not fill me with great hope.

Thank you.

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Response from Southampton General Hospital

Hi Anne. Thanks for your post about our responses. While we do forward all the comments to the relevant department, including PALS, the NHS Choices service is totally anonymous. This means that although you may input your email address into the system when you enter your comment, we are not given this or any personal or contact details from the people who comment via the website, so unfortunately the hospital is unable to contact you directly to follow up. We do however regularly review and act upon the comments that are posted here.

We are sorry that you have concerns about elements of your mother's hospital experience. We recommend you start by talking to the staff on the ward where your mother has been admitted. Ask for the person in charge, or specifically for the matron. This will enable the most timely and appropriate action to be taken in the specific local area, which we cannot identify from the details given in your post. This is the best thing to do if you are concerned about someone who is currently in hospital.

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