New figures show that East Lancashire hospitals NHS Trust have seen an increase in complaints against them.  Nationally, complaints to Health Authorities have increased by about 2%, however new figures have shown that the number of patient complaints made about the Royal Blackburn Hospital and Burnley General Hospital have increased by 8% on the previous year.

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust was subjected to criticism by Sir Bruce Keogh in July and the trust is currently in special measures. One failure that was noted in particular in Sir Keogh’s report centred on the complaints process. It was found that the Trust’s complaints process as a whole ‘lacked compassion’.

A spokesman for the Pennine Lancashire Patient Voices Group said: ” Unfortunately, I have become aware of an increased number of complaints about our hospitals. But I think patients are more savvy these days and take a more active interest in those that provide healthcare. In fact, if something’s not right, you have a duty to complain because you’re, making it better for those who come after you.’

Mark Brearley, chief executive of East Lancashire Hospital Trust said: “We are taking steps to ensure that the complaints procedure is improved so that it is more personal with an emphasis on meeting complainants earlier and face to face.’

Nationally doctors and surgeons have attracted almost half of the complaints with nurses, midwives and health visitors accounting for 22%.

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