Issue 17

Lessons learnt from Complaints

Every three months members of the Mental Health Directorate get together to review previous complaints in order to produce a list of lessons learnt for circulation amongst all our staff. We also believe it is important to keep our patient's informed about any changes in service which have resulted from complaints.

During the first six months of this year, we have identified the need for nursing staff to be fully aware of an individual patient's next of kin. Clinicians 's should be reminded that where they have concerns about family members impeding an individual patient's treatment and progress, that advice can be sought from the Mental Health Act Manager to determine possible options. All patients should be encouraged to register with a General Practitioner in order that the clinical team can notify them about their patient's progress particularly at the point of discharge from the service.

Clinical staff must make every effort to ensure that patients are informed about the possible side effects of their medication in order that they can more fully understand the possible impact on their physical health.

With regard to patient involvement in the care planning process, the recent 'Care Programme Approach (CPA – see pages 20 and 21) documentation developed within the Clinic includes a section to be signed by the individual patient confirming that they are aware of these plans.

In dealing with individual patient's concerns, every effort should be made to resolve these at a local level within the Clinic. Where the patient remains dissatisfied following an attempt at resolving locally, he/she can of course, submit their complaint formally to the Chief Executive of the Trust, Mr Paul Williams.

By: Robert Goodwin, General Manager