CNWL’s Patient Feedback and Complaints Service (PFCS) have a strong complaint handling process. However, there is still a high number of occasions where the complainant is not happy with some of the outcome, and want their complaint reopened.

To minimise this, the team started a Quality Improvement (QI) project in January 2022 focusing on CNWL’s Jameson Division. The division was chosen as it had the highest divisional number of reopened complaints.

The aim of the project is to increase the number of days between incidents of complaints needing to be reopened by 20% by the end of April 2023.

What were the changes?

To improve the overall complaint process, the team came up with some ideas:

  • Send a checklist, which had been embedded in Datix, to investigators. The checklist would instruct investigators to contact the complainant within seven days.
  • Send complaint performance data to Senior Divisional Leaders to encourage interest and ownership
  • Email notification of complaint to Divisional Senior Leaders, containing information and request for investigator details along with the checklist sent to the investigators

Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) Cycles

The team used PDSA cycles to test out the changes and build on any learning before implementation. This involved increasing contact between the investigators, PFCS and complainants – making sure the investigators are looking at the checklist and finding out the amount of time they are spending on the complaints process.

PDSA cycles checklist.PNG

Results so far

The outcome so far has been positive with the team making good and steady progress. From January 2022 until November 2022. the average number of days to reopen a complaint was 4.75. But since November, the number has increased by 58% with the average now being 7.53 days.

Improvoing NHS complaints graph.png

Moving forwards, the team will continue to monitor the results and come up with more change ideas and PDSA cycles.

Read the presentation to find out more about this project.