Delay to complaints action plan

A SIX-MONTH delay in producing a plan of action addressing complaints upheld by a health watchdog over staffing at Lister in Stevenage is not acceptable , a hospital chief has admitted. At Lister two years ago, John Brown died from pneumonia, aged 61. Hi

A SIX-MONTH delay in producing a plan of action addressing complaints upheld by a health watchdog over staffing at Lister in Stevenage is "not acceptable", a hospital chief has admitted.

At Lister two years ago, John Brown died from pneumonia, aged 61.

His wife, Christine, complained to the Healthcare Commission over aspects of his care.

The Healthcare Commission upheld concerns about staffing levels and communication between staff and relatives, and requested the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister, develop an action plan.

The Trust set its own deadline of October last year for completing the plan, but it was only finished and a copy sent to Mrs Brown last week.

The Trust's chief executive, Nick Carver, said: "We wrote to Mrs Brown on September 29, 2008, with a draft of the action plan, which included our own deadline of October 2008 for the completion of the final draft.

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"Since that time we have maintained correspondence with Mrs Brown and have apologised for the delay in producing a final draft.

"We accept that such a delay is not acceptable but it must be pointed out that it was our own self-imposed deadline that we failed to meet, not one imposed upon us by the Healthcare Commission."

He added: "The majority of the actions detailed within it have already been implemented.

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