How to make a complaint

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I WOULD like to make readers aware what their rights are if they need to make a complaint about the hospital as, apparently, it has to be made within one year.

I broke my ankle and was told when I came out of plaster it would take up to 18 months to recover. As I couldn’t work for two years I went to my GP every two weeks for a medical certificate and kept being fobbed off with “it takes time”. I tried to get help from the hospital and was told if I wasn’t happy with the response I should write to West Sussex Primary Care Trust. They in turn told me it was nothing to do with them and passed my letter back to the hospital who didn’t bother to reply.

I rang P.A.L.S. and was advised to write to the hospital, when I said I had done I was advised to write to W.S.P.C.T. When I said I had also done this I was told “Oh, you seem to have tried everything”!

Over the next three years I tried to get help from my GP and the hospital and in the end was fobbed off. I was then told by the hospital complaints department if I was unhappy with my treatment I should write to the ombudsman which I did in July, 2010. I was told by the ombudsman that my complaint should have been made in the first year and I appealed on the grounds that this was not public knowledge. There are no signs around the hospital or GPs’ surgeries informing the public of the correct procedures. By the hospital telling me it would take 18 months and my GP telling me for two years ‘it takes time’, in effect they have denied me the right to complain within the time limit. The ombudsman’s answer was the same, it was too late.

I have been passed around from pillar to post whilst in great pain and discomfort and all I seem to get is negative responses from administrative staff.

I would be interested if any readers have experienced the same.

Susan Delaney

Congreve Road

Worthing

01903 203576

susan.delaney@sky.com