NHS Northamptonshire reveals details of complaints made against services

A schoolboy from Northamptonshire was wrongly told by the NHS that he could not be treated for speech and co-ordination problems because of cutbacks.

By Nick Spoors
Tuesday, 4th August 2015, 7:25 am
Berrywood Hospital, one of NHS Northamptonshire Healthcare's services
Berrywood Hospital, one of NHS Northamptonshire Healthcare's services

The unamed boy’s case was described in a report on complaints made by patients to NHS Northamptonshire Healthcare.

It says the boy’s mum was told by a therapist that her professional opinion was that the boy - who had dyspraxia and speech difficulties - needed support but “due to cutbacks and staff shortages, the trust was unable to offer any help”.

It was only when the mum complained that the NHS looked into the matter and found that the wrong advice had been given.

In fact, the mum should have been told that direct NHS support would be reduced but that more support could be available from his school.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire Healthcare said: “This progression through the model of care was incorrectly inferred to be because of cut backs, which was not the case.

“After an explanation was given to the complainant on the model of care and changes were made to have the review at the school, the complaint was not upheld and has been closed.”

The complaint was one of 53 received between April and May this year, down from 75 last year.

Another case logged in the report described how a woman patient was distressed by a physiotherapist reading her medical notes and quoting some distressing details from past decades that were irrelevant to her condition.

The physio subsequently apologised for bringing up the past treatment.

Overall, the largest source of complaints was the level of service, followed by the attitude of nursing staff.

Examples of the latter were that a Parkinson’s nurse paid “little or no interest in their mother’s welfare”, another nurse had allegedly “substandard communication skills and an inability to hold a polite conversation.”

Senior members of NHS Northamptonshire Healthcare’s complaints review committee are looking into how to combat the issue of perceived nurse attitude problems.