Trust reports 52 per cent reduction in complaints

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has seen the number of formal complaints reduce by more than half in the two-year period ending March this year.

Between April 2014 and March 2016, the total number of formal complaints made to the Trust fell from 700 down to 334, a reduction of over 52 per cent.


Highlights of note include:

  • The Trust’s Integrated Care Group, which includes the majority of hospital wards as well as Accident and Emergency and Urgent Care Centres, saw the number of complaints reduce from 237 down to 143 in the last year
  • Complaints about surgery fell from 210 to 110 during 2015/16.


The vast majority of our patients are happy with the care and treatment they receive,” says Director of Nursing, Christine Pearson. But on occasion, there are issues that require a more detailed investigation or explanation. And when these issues arise, the good news is that we are making progress in how we handle these complaints and learn from them for the benefit of patients.” 


In the past 12 months, the number of complaints dropped by 39 per cent from 559 to 334.

“One of the main reasons for the reduction is because we now deal with most issues immediately to prevent a problem becoming a complaint,” says Head of Patient Experience, Meg Davey. “More and more, our Customer Relations Team respond to concerns speedily, passing these on to wards and departments quickly. This allows staff to respond to any negative issues as soon as possible, in most cases while the patient is still with us.” 


Also reported in the up-to-date statistics are:

  • 25% reduction in complaints in the Family Care division which includes the Burnley, Blackburn and Rossendale Birth Centres, as well as the Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre.
  • Complaints about community health services (including District Nursing) remain very low, falling from 13 to just 4 in the last 12 months.


“Almost without exception, the complaints we do receive help us make changes and improvements in how we provide care,” adds Christine Pearson.  Patient concerns are an important force for promoting safety among our staff.”


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