Lochside Garage

Hundreds of complaints-only a handful about A&E waiting

ALMOST 700 people lodged a complaint against the Western Trust in the last year, new figures from the Department of Health have revealed. 
However, with a total of 690, the Western Trust had the least number of complaints of all health and social care trusts in the North at 11.4 percent. It also saw its number of complaints drop from 746 in 2017/18 and from 1,030 in 2016/17. 
Over two fifths, 308, of complaints concerned ‘diagnosis/operation/treatment.’ The next highest number of complaints concerned ‘information and communication’, with 141, while there were 131 complaints regarding ‘patient experience.’ 
While the Trust may have had the lowest number of complaints over all, it received the highest number of complaints of all trusts with regard to maternal and child health, with 66. 
One figure that may surprise some is that the Western Trust received just nine official complaints about A&E waiting times, across both its emergency departments. Eight complaints were made regarding waiting times for outpatient departments. 
Overall, 6,049 complaints were received across the North, which works out at 86 a week or 12 a day. On the flip side, for the first time this year the Department also included the number of compliments received by staff in its figures. In total, 16,757 were received via card, email, feedback form, letter and social media. Over half these compliments related to quality of treatment and care. 

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