Example: Edith went into Hospital because she was suffering from a chest condition. Her relatives told us that Edith was a dementia sufferer that required help with eating and toileting. However the nurses provided very little assistance, and as a result Edith lost a great deal of weight and developed bed sores. Her family were extremely angry about the level of care that she received.
Unfortunately the helpline team hear complaints about poor care of the elderly in hospital from across the country. Relatives are understandably concerned and upset that their loves ones were not treated with the dignity they deserve.
There are three things that you should do prior to making a complaint –
- Write as detailed an account as possible of your concerns and the incidents that occurred. This will assist you later on in your complaint as your memory of the events fade, and will also help you to clarify what particular things you wish to complain about, and what questions you wish to ask.
- Access the medical records of the patient. We would strongly advise you to do this from the outset, as they will assist you throughout your complaint. You can obtain a copy of our leaflet ‘How to Access your Medical Records’ on 020 8423 8999, or by downloading it from our Advice Publications section “How to obtain access to your medical records”.
- Identify what you want to achieve by making a complaint. It is important that you know this from the outset. Common outcomes that people want when making a complaint are –
i. To obtain an apology
ii. To obtain answers about particular questions that have arisen out of bad care
iii. To ensure that changes are made to ensure that the care provided to patients is of a higher standard in the future.
Once you have done the 3 things above, you should address your complaint in writing to the Chief Executive of the Hospital, outlining the details of the complaint and what you would like the outcome of the complaint to be.