Southern Trust receives the most complaints in NI

Craigavon Area Hospital. INLM02-110gc
Craigavon Area Hospital. INLM02-110gc

The Southern Health Trust had double the number of complaints sent to the Ombudsman than any other other health trust in the province.

It was revealed that last year, 1.5% (16) of the total complaints received by the Southern Trust were referred to the NI Public Service Ombudsman (NIPSO).

“A significant number of complaints referred to the ombudsman regarding The Southern Trust are not upheld,” said a Trust spokesperson.

However, the Northern Trust had only six complaints forwarded to the Ombudsman with only two of those cases taken on.

At the Western Trust six complaints were referred to NIPSO.

And at the South Eastern Trust they reported a decrease of 8% in formal complaints, nine of which approached the Ombudsman. Of those, four were not taken on while five are ongoing.

A spokesperson for the Southern Health Trust said: “Approximately 1% of complaints received by The Southern Trust were referred to the Ombudsman last year. A significant number of Trust complaints referred to the Ombudsman are not upheld.

“Each year, hundreds of thousands of local people use our many services and demand for Trust services is rising significantly every year.

“We receive about 1,000 complaints annually relating to a very wide range of issues/concerns and each complaint is fully investigated before we send a comprehensive response back to the person making the complaint.

“The Trust also receives many thousands of messages from people who are satisfied with the care and treatment they receive from the Trust and we know that the work done by our staff is very much appreciated by many people.

“We welcome and encourage patient feedback so that we can improve our care when it is appropriate to do so.”