Health and Social Services Department complaint procedure report (FOI)
Health and Social Services Department complaint procedure report (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 24 May 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
In 2018 there was an independent investigation into a breakdown into complaint procedure as a result of an outstanding complaint made to the hospital the previous February (2017). The Clive Davis Partnership was commissioned to investigate.
Please provide a copy of this report.
The main body of the report is exempt under Article 25 (Personal Information) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011.
Please see the following extracts, which have been redacted, where necessary, under Article 25.
[Redacted – personal information] experience during this process is unacceptable and HSSD must ensure lessons are learnt so this does not happen again.
There are some recommendations later in this report but it should be noted at the outset that:
[redacted – personal information] should have been contacted at the start of this investigation by the investigating officer, to identify [redacted – personal information] key concerns
[redacted – personal information] complaint should have been dealt with in a timely manner: the timescales involved in this complaint are not reasonable and this case does not comply with HSSD’s ethos of person-centred care
there has been a clear lack of proactive contact with [redacted – personal information] throughout the process
HSSD should have involved [redacted – personal information] with the decisions involving resolutions around [redacted – personal information] care, especially at the Stage Two panel
[redacted – personal information] was not treated with HSSD’s expected level of respect and dignity as part of this process with especial reference to the lack of adherence to deadlines and the style and tone of some items of correspondence
HSSD should now work with [redacted – personal information] to ensure a suitable package of care and treatment is put in place and [redacted – personal information] healthcare issues are addressed within a timeframe that is acceptable to [redacted – personal information]. The package of care should be designed in direct consultation with [redacted – personal information] so it meets the needs of [redacted – personal information] and [redacted – personal information] supporting family members, and starts to rebuild [redacted – personal information] trust with HSSD.
Relevant policies and publications
I have assessed the information I have received against the States of Jersey Complaints Procedure Guidance for Staff, which has a stated publication date of 2012.
[Redacted – personal information]
These issues include:
failure to contact the complainant by telephone in the first instance, to assess the complaint and identify the key issues arising
failure to communicate in an effective and timely manner throughout the process which meant the complainant was left without information, and had to contact HSSD at regular intervals asking for updates
failure to comply with your stated 25-day investigation timeframe, or failure to explain to the complainant why the investigation would exceed that timeframe
lack of responsibility from those investigating the case to ensure it was dealt with in a timely manner
lack of care when providing factual evidence to ensure it was clear and correct, or amended in a timely manner when errors were pointed out
lack of care in presentation of information, resulting in questionable credibility of the documents themselves
inappropriate language, style and tone in internal emails which do not meet the level of professionalism that should be expected from staff with a duty of care for vulnerable patients
lack of respect for and adherence to a complaints process to ensure prompt resolution for patients’ concerns.
The timeline at the end of this report makes for difficult reading and HSSD should ensure that lessons are captured and learnt and that those lessons are heard and implemented at the most senior level in the organisation.
It is also essential that HSSD contacts [redacted – personal information] at the very earliest opportunity to (a) apologise for the events listed in this report and (b) resolve her long-standing issues.
There are a number of recommendations which should result from this report, and I am happy to discuss these findings in more detail.
They should include:
adoption of a formal complaints policy that is followed by all members of staff
communication to all staff that face-to-face resolution should be the first point of response in order to accurately ensure HSSD has understood and deals with the appropriate issues.
training for all staff in the importance of handling complaints sensitively and proactively in order to ensure prompt resolution
ensuring that staff members have the right time, support and motivation to deal with complaints as part of their daily workload
communication from the top of the organisation about the importance of the complaints process in terms of learning and changes to future practice
the importance of prompt response, meeting deadlines or providing regular communication when those deadlines are not going to be met
training and policies to ensure style, tone and language in communications within HSSD meets a professional and empathetic standard.
Article 25 Personal information
(1) Information is absolutely exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.
(2) Information is absolutely exempt information if –
(a) it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is not the data subject as defined in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018; and
(b) its supply to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles, as defined in that Law.