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Governance scandal trust failing to manage complaints

A trust which is facing major governance issues is failing to respond to hundreds of complaints properly, with patients and families waiting more than twice as long as the NHS target for responses to their concerns, an external review has found.

Cornwall Partnership Foundation Trust, which is subject to regulatory action by NHS England, was found to be “not classifying complaints, concerns and comments accurately”, while staff had “no formal training”, meaning complaints were “not investigated appropriately”.

Last year, the trust was embroiled in a governance scandal in which NHSE investigated multiple allegations of finance and governance failings, resulting in the departure of former CEO Phil Confue.

Rachel Power, chief executive of the advocacy group Patients Association, told HSJ  patient complaints often contain “vital intelligence” on how trusts can improve services and “essential warnings about any area where things might be going wrong”.

According to the review, the backlog had stemmed from several factors. These included more work being needed on investigations that had not been thorough enough, and the relevant service teams not responding to enquiries by the complaints team.

Additionally, there was a “lack of formal monitoring and review” to ensure complaint points were reported appropriately and consistently, and an “apparent lack of accountability by local teams for complaints” triaged through the trust’s patient liaison and complaints team.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 12 April 2022

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Another important article behind a paywall, which is linked to longstanding problems. 

This article needs to be opened up to the public. I hope the mainstream media and the regional and local media pick this up.

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