Thirty-nine complaints against DHB

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 08/05/2014

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Dozens of complaints were made against the Southern District Health Board last year.

A Hospital Advisory Committee meeting yesterday heard 20 complaints were made to the Health and Disability Commissioner against the health board from July 1 to December 31 last year.

However, the data shows a total of 39 complaints were made last year.

During the past five years complaints have varied between a low of 28 and a high of 44.

The commission compiled reports for all the health boards. The main report says that in total it received 330 complaints - an increase of 7.5 per cent.

However, its main report did not identify specific health boards.

A report on the southern health board was in the meeting agenda yesterday.

Data from the report show service types, issues complained about and closed complaints against the health board.

During the last quarter (July 1 to December 31) the Southern DHB had a higher proportion of complaints made about mental health services than was seen nationally, the report says.

Some of the issues included inappropriate or delayed discharge or transfer, refusal to assist, disrespectful manner or attitude and insensitive and inappropriate comments.

General medicine saw the second highest (23.9 per cent) number of complaints during that period.

The issues included waiting lists, inadequate care and inappropriate discharge.

Dunedin Hospital received seven of the 20 complaints and Southland Hospital received six. Most complaints were made about care and treatment (55 per cent) followed by communication (20 per cent).

Meeting chair Joe Butterfield said the numbers were small in terms of total population.

A board member commented that the important lesson was communication.

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