Western Sussex Hospitals have joined up with Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals to form a new NHS Foundation Trust for our area: University Hospitals Sussex.

You can keep using this website for information about St Richard’s, Worthing and Southlands hospitals but for our other sites and to find out more about the new trust please visit www.uhsussex.nhs.uk.

WSHFT chief executive Marianne Griffiths talking to a patient

Acting on feedback

Who are the best judges of how well we are meeting our patients’ needs?

It’s the thousands of people who use our services, and those who care for them.

That’s why we try to give people as many opportunities as possible to tell us what they think.

And it’s why we have a customer relations department and Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) to act on what they say and put things right where they have gone wrong or wherever we have not lived up to their expectations.

Sharing your views

  • If you are staying on one of our wards, you may be asked to take part in the Care Quality Commission’s annual national inpatient survey or complete one of our own patient experience surveys.
  • All patients are able to take the government’s Friends and Family Test, which asks how likely you are to recommend our care to someone you know.
  • Our PALS team is also available to all patients to offer advice and support, and help you speak to the right people to resolve any issues you have.
  • And if you do want to make a formal complaint, our customer relations staff will make sure it is fully investigated for you.

Of course, you can also give us feedback at any time using one of the forms on our contacts page: Western Sussex Hospitals – Contact Us

Responding to feedback

We take all feedback and complaints extremely seriously.

The chief executive and Trust Board regularly meet with patients and their relatives where things have gone wrong to ensure we apologise properly and take action to prevent the same thing happening again in future.

And a committee led by our independent, non-executive directors also audits the complaints we receive to make sure they are all investigated and responded to effectively.

The annual number of complaints the Trust received was down 5% in 2018/19, at 406 compared to 429 the previous year.

However, we continue to examine all feedback we receive to identify potential problems as they emerge, and learn from our patients’ experiences, good and bad.

Here are a few of the issues that were raised in recent years, and the steps we have taken in response.

You said, we did…

Issue: Inadequate provision for ophthalmic appointments resulting in frequent cancellations and delays

Response: We undertook an external review of the service and implemented a dedicated telephone triage service to respond to appointment queries and improve customer service

Issue: Delays in answering call bells on one of the elderly wards

Response: We have introduced a new call bell system that displays chronologically which patients have called for assistance to improve response times

Issue: Confusion over medication needed on discharge from hospital

Response: We have improved our policy on labelling take-home medicines

Issue: Poor communication and advice when accessing the oncology services in an emergency

Response: Neutropenic patients who require access to advice and admission out of hours when at high risk of infection now have a dedicated bleep number to use to contact oncology staff directly

Issue: Delays between clinic appointments

Response: We have arranged additional clinics in the evenings and at weekends to reduce waiting times

Issue: Confusion regarding the process and criteria for entry and reinstatement of patients on waiting lists for surgery

Response: We now send patients a letter when they are removed from the waiting list to ensure they have clear guidance on how to reinstate their entry at a later date

Issue: Lack of communication about waiting times when a patient comes in for day surgery

Response: We now ensure details of the approximate waiting time are included in the admission letter sent to patients

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