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Healthwatch East Sussex – Complaints Conference

April 13, 2015

Over the last few months we have been working with the team at Healthwatch East Sussex to plan and deliver a conference on complaints. On March 26th in Hastings, the turn out was excellent with a mix of patient representatives, commissioners, providers, regulators and advocacy and support organisations. The aim of the day was to develop a Declaration of Understanding on Handling Complaints. Each table work in mixed groups to consider a different case study. Starting off by mapping the problems and pitfalls experienced by people, the groups then looked to agree the things they could do differently in the future to ensure people had a simple and effective route to raise and resolve concerns and complaints. Each table made a declaration on the day with early findings including:

-       The need to work better together to simplify and streamline how people can raise and resolve their complaints

-       A commitment to understanding complaints as a positive action leading to learning and service improvement

-       Informing and empowering people including staff to understand the process of raising a complaint including how and where to seek help and support

-       The need for all to take personal responsibility without fear of blame or judgement

-       The need to be open and honest, removing barriers that prevent people from raising complaints

Healthwatch will be publishing a report and launching a film of the event. We look forward to seeing how this important piece of work develops next.

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