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Posted by on Nov 10, 2017 in Rare disease | 0 comments

Response time not met (10.11.2017)

Response time not met (10.11.2017)

After the very disturbing conversation that I’d had with another physician in June (read the post “Betrayal” for details), I finally submitted a detailed complaint to the hospital’s “Service Quality and Complaints” Commissioner in mid-August. On August 21st I received a call from their office; to let me know that they’d received the documents, and that they’d be looking into the issues I’d raised.

The woman who called thanked me for providing this ‘valuable feedback’ to the hospital, and reassured me that I’d done the right thing by writing to them. She also assured me that the file would be handled as confidentially as possible.

Hospital complaint information

She briefly described the process, and advised me that someone from the Commissioner’s office would get back to me within 45 days, with the result(s) of the hospital’s assessment. She mentioned that they could potentially request an extension of up to 15 days, and that I’d be advised of this if an extension proved to be necessary.

I never heard anything back from them, until today. When I got home from work there was a nondescript envelope in my mailbox, from the hospital. I was so eager to read the result of their investigation (they call it an ‘assessment’) that I opened the envelope outside, standing in the road beside our community mailboxes.

And was immediately disappointed. The half-page letter from the hospital’s Assistant Commissioner is dated November 8th, and states that they received my complaint on August 16th and that they then had 45 days to respond. The letter acknowledges that their response was due by September 30th – but the letter’s dated November 8th! There’s no mention of the entire month of October, only that they “require more time to examine your complaint”.

List of hospital's patients' rights

So they’re already 39 days late. When the Commissioner’s office called me back in August, they said I’d have to be told of any extension after the initial 45-day period. Then they didn’t do it.

And they’re not providing any timeline whatsoever as to when I can expect a response to my complaint; only that it “will be sent to you as promptly as possible”.

This process isn’t starting off well, it seems. I’ll try to reserve judgement, but wonder why they couldn’t have advised me of the delay after the initial 45 days… 39 days ago!

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