Last night I wrote my letter of complaint. This morning we went into the hospital (Keith and I ) and we made a formal complaint about the situation Mum was left in.We saw the Senior Sister, who I had spoken to before. She took our written complaint and told us that on the morning in question, three members of staff had called in sick with very little notice. She said that they had been using staff from other hospitals and they did not have the same dedication as the regular staff. We listened and then she asked us what we wanted to do about the matter. We were very clear that what we wanted was for the matter to be investigated and for the situation never to happen again. We are not complaining about the staff that actually turned up, their job was nearly impossible.
This afternoon I got a call from a lady called Jane Lawton, who said she was an area manager who had been passed our complaint. While it was good that she had phoned me, she was clearly a lady used to getting her own way and not particularly interested in listening to anything but her own voice. She quite clearly had only skimmed my letter as she was talking about the night shift not doing their work. (that was not the case it was the day shift) She went on to say that it was a 'sickness' issue and that she had been onto the HR department to see how they could address the issue. It seems to me that thinking about addressing the issue now was just a touch too late.
It was clear for the way she spoke to me I would have to take a deep breath and talk over her. I told her that I was not listening to her excuses. I wanted a copy of the trusts capability/sick Policy and I wanted to know what their rate of sickness is and what they are doing to address the matter. I already have the policies, as the trust has them online. Not that she was going to listen to what I had to say. So I told her if she was unwilling to furnish me with the details I would make a freedom of information request and I would make sure that the results were publicised.
On balance I feel I came out on top, I certainly employed her own keep talking tactic!!
The present state of play is that they will provide a written response in around 10 working days with the state of the enquiry. I know that they are extremely keen on keeping the complaint 'in house' at this stage. All I want is an undertaking that they will take into consideration that their patients should be afforded dignity and respect and the right to a safe life.
Upsetting because there are a lot of brilliant staff up there who do a fantastic job (like you did Tanya!!) Its a shame the managers do not have a plan B for when things don't going according to plan.