Disability charity slams Bucks Healthcare Trust’s criticism of anonymous report

Stoke Mandvelle Hospital
Stoke Mandvelle Hospital

A charity has questioned a health trust for condemning its decision to produce a dossier of anonymous complaints about Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Buckinghamshire Disabilty Service has now sent its report to the Care Quality Commission but has also asked the Department for Health to intervene after Bucks Healthcare NHS Trust chief executive Ann Eden said ‘it was ‘somewhat irresponsible of BuDS to potentially worry patients by hinting at patient safety issues at the hospital’.

Charity trustees chairman Andrew Clark said: “Rather than condemning BuDS, it would have been more appropriate for the trust and its chief executive to welcome BuDS’ initiative as a contribution to the gathering of information about hospital services.

“It does not seem acceptable for an NHS Trust publicly to make inaccurate and unfair criticisms of a local charity that was doing no more than allowing hospital users to feedback their opinions. We hope Jeremy Hunt (health secretary) can help us to resolve this matter.”

The report received 51 responses, all but two anonymously, and about half came from people claiming to be hospital staff and the remainder from people claiming to be either patients or relatives.

The main complaints related to A&E (60%) and the remainder related to areas such as maternity services, the National Spinal Injuries Centre and to management issues.

Mr Clark added: “BuDS wanted to give staff, patients and visitors at Stoke Mandeville hospital a wholly anonymous way to report any concerns they might have.

“It’s clear from the number of responses received and the relative high quality of the information supplied that people do want a means to express their feelings in a safe and anonymous way.

“BuDS accordingly urges health regulators such as the CQC and HealthWatch Buckinghamshire to consider establishing a permanent anonymous feedback mechanism for comments about patient safety in Buckinghamshire’s hospitals and healthcare centres.”