94 complaints since new Vic wing opened

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ALMOST 100 formal complaints have been made since health services were moved into the new wing of Victoria Hospital.

But it remains a tiny fraction of the numbers which have poured through the doors of the £170m hospital.

NHSFife confirmed this week that 94 formal complaints had been lodged in January and February - this covered the operational divison which includes the Vic, Forth Park and Queen Margaret Hospitals.

The rise was expected as services were moved en masse, and at a time when a norovirus also hit, forcing managers to close wards and move patients around.

Caroline Inwood, director of nursing for the operational division, said Fife’s experience was similar to other health boards who had carried out major changes.

‘‘Where new hospitals or wings have opened then complaints go up initially,’’ she said. ‘‘The number then rights itself as people - staff and public - get used to the new ways of working and everything settles down.’’

While 94 complaints were lodged, between October and December NHSFife dealt with 78,000 out-patients.

On top of that came over 2000 patient admissions, 6600 emergency admissions, 5600 day patients ... and over 3000 maternity/neo-natal cases.

‘‘Every complaint is important, but what is equally important are our procedures which allow patients and families to rauise concerns over their care.

‘‘I’d urge people to raise any concerns at the time - with the charge nurse or nurse manager, or if it’s a medical care issue ask to speak to their consultant.

The re-opening of wards to work round the norovirus sdparked some complaints while others were stuck in a bottle neck as staff tried to free up beds and find alternatives with some wards closed as a result of the outbreak.

‘‘We had extra staff on duty, and we don’t turn people away, no matter how busy it gets. Even if we are full we still have to provide care, and we do. That’s the real challenge,’’ added Caroline.

>> And the good news

While 94 complaints were logged, staff also received 242 thank you cards, and £119,000 in donations made to NHSFife