We’re British and we don’t like to make a fuss.
We certainly don’t want to complain.
But on this one you have to say when something isn’t right. Under no circumstances ‘wait and see what happens’. You haven’t got time.
There’s been lots of stories in the media recently about hospitals, care homes, agencies and staff that haven’t taken the best care of their patients. Unfortunately we have personal experience of all of this.
We’ve also learned that there are certain words, phrases and terminologies that unless you’re ‘in the business’ you wouldn’t realise can cut an awful lot of corners. That there are ways round the system. It’s vital you complain to the right person and/ or department.
It’s our experience that the complaints process is often complicated, not user-friendly and ultimately not meant to help you complain. So where do you start?
You know when things aren’t right.
Bed linen isn’t clean and/or changed.
Drinks and food are left out of reach.
Rooms, bays, wards and/or public areas are dirty.
Staff are rude, unhelpful, don’t answer questions, talk to you or even make eye contact.
Decisions made about your person’s care aren’t explained to you and when they are, don’t make sense.
Appointments aren’t kept.
Prescriptions are wrong.
Procedures aren’t followed etc.etc.etc.
Don’t ever listen to a member of staff who tells you not to complain about something because they “have to do it” or they “can do it for you”. They don’t have to and they probably won’t.
“I walked onto the ward and my husband was soaked in his own urine, it was all over the bed and mattress, his catheter had leaked and spilled onto the floor. He was crying and very distressed. I cried out in shock and a nurse came she said “what’s up?” I pointed to the urine and she said “Oh I’ll clean it up in a bit” she was so rude and even though I said it was a health hazard never mind upsetting for my husband and me she went to walk away until I said I wanted to make a complaint. She turned around and said “Oh you don’t do that I do.” I believed her and I shouldn’t have. Later when I mentioned it during a meeting with the ward manager about a series of concerns I had raised, I discovered that not only had the nurse not registered my complaint it was being suggested that I was making it up. Always complain yourself.” Anon