I had an incredible conversation last week, with a recent patient at St. Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey unhappy with the treatment s/he received. I’m deliberately not identifying the person because s/he had told me what had happened at the hospital in confidence and felt that s/he couldn’t complain because s/he needed to go back and felt unable to say anything.
So I promised to keep a secret. I feel bad about that but a promise is a promise.
It didn’t make any difference when I explained that the complaint is kept separate from your medical file or that they wouldn’t remember your name anyway. (OK, little white lie there – they won’t be forgetting mine in a hurry!). When I said they had a duty to treat you properly, s/he laughed at me.
I admitted that I had nothing to lose and was happy to have a go at them, and that’s true.
It’s all very depressing, because the reference for my own complaint is 12/203 (go on, check it out Chief Executive Andrew Liles, it’s the one you keep forgetting to reply to).
Now, if 12 is the year, then by the beginning of September when I made it, there had already been 202 complaints made by other people.
So if over 8 months there were 202 complaints, that’s 25-25 per month, or 6-31 per week. Now whether you look at a week as 5 or 7 days, that’s about one new complaint every day, from just one hospital.
Now if I found it so easy to bump into someone who was very unhappy with their treatment last year but was too frightened to complain, how many other people are there who didn’t complain?
The problem is that if they are messing up and you don’t do anything about it, they just go on messing up until somebody does complain.
So, I know I’m right doing this. Get in touch.
If you don’t complain, they do it again.
(a don’t stop till you drop production)firstname.lastname@example.org