"Delays in Obtaining responses to a Complaint"

About: North Devon District Hospital / General medicine

(as a relative),

I raised a set of complaints and just under 4 months later, I have not had an answer.

I have made a complaint to an NHS Hospital in North Devon at the end of June (https://www.patientopinion.org.uk/opinions/69162). I received a letter giving me a response date. I felt confident that the points I raised would be considered, particularly as my approach was to help improve processes, help to have an improved service as well as obtain some answers, not to sue.

On that date I received another letter telling me that there had been delays and gave me another date. I accepted that there were a lot of questions impacting different departments, and time was required to be able to get input from all the areas.

On that date I got another response, saying that there were further delays and no further delivery date was given. I send a letter, expressing my disappointment, particularly as no delivery date was given. My friends and family are convinced that I am wasting my time "this is just a way to wear you down, so you will just give up" - but giving up isn't my style. So whilst my intentions were to help others to have an improved service, the lack of response suggests to me that the NHS is not remotely interested.

I wrote a letter to PALS who called me the next day. PALS was unable to give me a delivery date, despite me repeatedly asking for a date. The reason I was given was that the questions were complex and complicated and needed to be reviewed by a large number of individuals.

I get the impression that PALS is trying to do their best to assist, the number of reviews that the answers have to go through makes me wonder whether the response I get will make any sense and just how much it will deal with the particular issues I raised.

It is now the 21st October, nearly four months since my original question and I haven't had an answer, never mind whether I would be happy with the answer or not.

Is there anything that I can do to move this along? At the moment, I am concerned that my questions are not being dealt with seriously.

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Response from Jayne Kruszewski, Customer Relations Manager, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear Rhodie

I am really sorry that you have encountered delays to your initial enquiry. The Trust takes patient feedback and concerns very seriously and I am saddened that you have lost confidence in the Customer Relations system.

We do aim to resolve patient quieries and concerns as soon as we can, and should we be unable to respond to complaints witin the agreed timeframe the Customer Relations team strive to keep complainants fully in the picture as to why we are experinceing delays, as and when they occur. However without the full details of your complaint I am unable to look into the reasons for the delays for the investigation into your complaint, and why you have not yet recieved a response.

I would very much welcome the opportunity of discussing your complaint with you in person, and l hope that we can resolve your issues as soon as possible.

I can be contacted on 01271 314185, or alternatively please contact the PALS team on 01271 314090


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