Written evidence submitted by Edward Stevenson (NLR0002)
I would like to have a little input with ref to the way Hospitals handly complaint.
I am speaking for Experience having lost a granddaughter in 2009 in Birmingham Children’s hospital.
After Hayley Died on the 11/9/2009 we were heart broken an felt that the hospital had no listened to us when Hayley was still alive.
All we wanted was a full explanation as to how and why Hayley died.
We were asked did we want to make a complaint and we said know we just wanted a full and honest answer as to how and why such a disaster could be allowed to happen in a hospital.
This was when all the lies and coverup started. I may not have any qualification with regards to medical matters but I did have a little bit of common sense and I was very easy to see what was taken place.
After one full year of attempting to get the Hospital to tell us the truth I believed the only way to get an honest answer was through the courts.
This was the last thing I ever wanted to do was to go down this route as the only winners is the Lawyers and the family has to keep reliving Hayleys death over and over again while all the inquires and courts are taken place.
That turn out to be right and in November 2011 my wife took her own life as she couldn’t take any more of the Hospitals lies and coverups.
The main point of me writing to you I would for yous to make changes in the way these complaints are handled. Everyone make mistakes and most people understand this and are prepared to forgive and move on but what most people like me cannot stand and will no stand is people telling them blatant lies to there face and belittling you by using medical terms which they know you don’t understand but they don’t explain what they mean.
We asked for all conversation to be recorded to stop this happening but they would not agree to this so I told them I would record everything and get it transcript and then there would be no problem with them saying no we never said that. After approximately 5 year and a lot of costs on both sides we the hospital admitted they made mistakes and we finally settled out of court.
The very first thing I would suggest is before a child dies train staff at all levels to please listen to the Mother. The Mother knows her own child better than anyone else and in our case Paula my Daughter and us as Grandparents had looked after and cared for Hayley since she was born with a heart problem for over a year and keep her safe so we knew her pretty well.
When a child Dies be open and transparent not just as a public statement of intent but really do it.
The staff keep use the above phrase but didn’t mean a word of it and was being total hypocritical and that really makes people very cross.
You have to start off with an enquiry that is carried of somebody that is impartial and no connection with any of the staff involved.
Then discuss with the kin of the deceased the full report and inquire if there is anything else that they would like them to look in to with regards with this report.
If the kin is not happy with the report and the way it was carried out then it should be noted and the point or points they have brought up should be relooked at and keeping in mind what the kin have pointed out and then rediscussed. The hospital staff should not be directly involved with the kin unless the kin ask to talk with them. I have found that there is certain member of staff who are very arrogant, condescending, big-headed and if anyone dares to question them about anything they just fly of in rage and treat ordinary people like they are nobody. Not taring everyone with the same brush but it tends to some consultants. So suggest you keep them out of the loop when dealing with kin. This way you can save a fortune in litigation.
One other point is listen to kin and if practical implement some of their ideas into the hospital system to try and make it a better safer place.
That’s was all I wanted from when Hayley Died was for the hospital to change there system to ensure that no other family had to suffer what we suffered because as well a staff problem the also had a system problem