Changes to chemotherapy at Royal Sussex County Hospital after complaint

Changes to chemotherapy after complaint

Changes to chemotherapy after complaint

First published in News by , Health reporter

Chemotherapy is now double checked at a specialist cancer centre in Brighton after a patient made an official complaint.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman carried out a review at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust after being contacted about the incident.

The complaint was partially upheld.

As a result the Sussex Cancer Centre, based at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton, has reintroduced double checking chemotherapy infusion rates in the chemotherapy department.


The Ombudsman also carried out a review after a complaint was made following a baby being stillborn at the trust.

This was also partially upheld and the trust has now updated its guidelines to ensure that an unborn baby’s heart rate is listened to before injecting any pain relief into the patient.

The complaints were among more than 20 received by the Ombudsman about the trust over the last 12 months which were accepted for initial review.

Of these, five were either not upheld or a decision was taken not to investigate.

The rest were either partially upheld or investigations are continuing.

Complaints included a refusal to X-ray a back injury, which led to a failure to detect a collapsed vertebra in the spine and tumour, failure to monitor for adverse effects of medication and the care given to a kidney patient admitted to A&E with a potentially lifethreatening swelling on their main artery.

A spokesman for the hospital trust said no further details could be given about the incidents because of patient confidentiality.

He said: “We make every effort to resolve complaints directly with people who raise concerns and encourage complainants to let us know if they feel there is any further action we can take to achieve this with them.

“If, despite all efforts to resolve matters locally, they remain unhappy with our response, they can go to the second stage of the NHS Complaints Procedure by asking the Parliamentary and Health ServiceOmbudsman, who is independent of the trust, to review their complaint.

“If the Ombudsman’s review identifies areas that need to improve,weensure policy changes are made whenever necessary.

“Last year the Ombudsman committed to investigate more complaints, which has meant that while there has been a 2% decrease in the number of complaints accepted by the Ombudsman for review, there has been an increase in the number accepted for investigation.”


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