Speaking Up Project. Resolving NHS complaints and preventing problems for recurring Alex Robinson Project Manager

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1 Speaking Up Project Resolving NHS complaints and preventing problems for recurring Alex Robinson Project Manager Presentation to Health Scrutiny Committee 2 nd April 2012

2 Brief recap - background National charity nearly 50 years old Concerned for many years ref. complaints handling via national Helpline Successful bid for funding from the Health Foundation (charity) to run a 2 year project Lead organisation Patients Association Key partners: Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Pilgrim Projects National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcomes and Death (NCEPOD)

3 Why NHS Complaints? When a patient or their loved ones are dissatisfied with a healthcare experience, they can make a formal complaint. But the process can be daunting, distressing and frustrating. NHS responses are often too defensive or too apologetic Investigations are not robust and the root causes are therefore not properly tackled There is little attempt to use complaints constructively as a driver for improvement

4 Why Mid Staffordshire? Complaints handling was a key feature of the Public Inquiries There is a real appetite to address the issues and be a best practice exemplar site

5 What do we want the project to achieve? Honest, open and transparent response letters from Trusts Independent scrutiny of complaints as the norm Comparative information about who handles complaints well and who handles them poorly levers for commissioners to demand improvements Complaints handling seen to be as important as other key targets such as financial breakeven, infection rates or waiting times

6 The Project Itself 4 specific work streams: Complaints Survey Complaints Support Service Peer Review Panels Digital Stories

7 Complaints survey Every complainant will be asked to complete a survey asking about the quality of the complaints process Developed from scratch with Trust s Complaints Focus Group 5 Trusts including Mid Staffordshire actively using the survey since October 2011 Benchmarking group in existence since December other Trusts due to come on line in April 2012

8 Complaints survey 23 questions in total including several text boxes for comments Q22 asks for their contact details if they wish to talk to us in more detail Signpost them to the PA s national helpline, GMC etc Signpost them to our Complaints Support Service reopen their complaint if they wish.

9 Complaints survey Results Experimental data not quite ready for publishing low numbers Voluntary participation Bear in mind the subject matter - people who return the surveys may be less likely to be happy Some areas where good, average, poor performance already evident across the 5 Trusts Some areas where poor performance is evident across the board

10 Text comments Complaint was dealt with in a professional manner. Dr xx was superb. He dealt with my complaint brilliantly. I cannot praise him enough From the very beginning I felt that my complaint was being deliberately 'stone-walled' in the hope that I would go away, and make no trouble. The impression given that it was a trivial matter. What they didn't count on was my 'Dunkirk Spirit' The hospital's apologising for every failure offers a little comfort. However it does not reassure me that other elderly, vulnerable patients and their families will not suffer the same fate. It was handled professionally. I was kept informed and a detailed letter from the CEO who explained the investigation undertaken and the action taken with a name and telephone number should I require additional information.

11 Next steps To review performance at a speciality level, not just at a corporate level Talking to clinical commissioning groups in Staffordshire survey to be part of future healthcare contracts? Talking to the NHS Commissioning Board national rollout / participation Picker Institute as a Strategic Partner

12 Complaints Support Service Available to anyone who has made or wants to make a complaint at Mid Staffs No exceptions Run by a Senior Nurse Manager from the PA who manages a team of local Patient Champions recruited from the local community Marketing materials available Philosophy: You have the right to be heard You have the right to a detailed and truthful response

13 Complaints Support Service The service will: Listen to your concerns Try to make sure that your complaint has been properly investigated Ask clinical advisers to look at your care and treatment Give a view on whether the response from the hospital is fair and reasonable Challenge the hospital if we think their response is inadequate

14 Complaints Support Service Currently supporting 6 complainants with very complex complaints that cut across organisational and sector boundaries Anecdotal feedback from users and their families to date is positive Satisfaction surveys will be used to measure our impact

15 Peer Review Panels Panels meet every quarter over the 2 years to review a sample of complaints Retrospective activity complaints closed within the last 3 months All extremes + mixture of low, medium and high cases Panels consist of clinicians [nurses and hospital consultants], complaints managers from other organisations, magistrates, community members They use a complaints handling scorecard to assess each case Reports pull together themes of good and poor practice

16 Peer Review Panels September / October 2011 panels 24 cases reviewed draft report with Trust January cases reviewed report being compiled Sept Jan = Testing/ Refining the methodology April cases due to be reviewed 25 from other Trusts Will provide Mid Staffs with a comparative position

17 Peer Review Panels Aim of the panels Highlight areas / divisions / cases where the Trust are doing it well Support the Trust to improve its complaints handling processes so that they are in line with best practice against the 12 standards Staff working group now in place to take findings forward

18 Digital Story Telling Pilgrim Projects have been commissioned to run 3 workshops over the life of the project 2 with patients / complainants and 1 with staff if possible. Workshops will help complainants translate their experiences into Patient Voices Digital Stories 250 word story in their own voice supported by music and images They will be used as teaching resources for staff at the Trust

19 Digital Story Telling 3 stories at various stages of release done on a 1:1 basis Workshop planned for May / June for other potential storytellers 3 stories will be built into Trust s induction programme for new staff

20 Next steps for the project We are contributing to Engaging Communities Staffordshire developments new home for our activities? Economic assessment of project underway cost avoidance Responding to the findings from the Francis Report Summer 2012

21 Thank You Any Questions?

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