"It feels like SLaM never make any progress with the things that really matter!"
About: South London And Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust South London And Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust London SE5 8AZ
Posted by Optimaxim (as ),
SLaM has many ways of amassing information about where it is going wrong and it probably fixes the little things or obvious things very quickly, but I feel that they are hopeless at making changes in some very important areas. In my opinion, the complaints system itself works very badly. In my experience, it takes ages to sort out little things and even longer to sort out bigger things. It feels like some things just disappear into a black hole despite being chased. My suggestion would be that the complaints system should get an appropriate decision-maker or an appropriate committee interface person to get in touch with complainants within days, and not weeks. It feels like complainants are chasing SlaM, it should be the other way around.
I see in board papers a section entitled "Proposed MHA Developments for 2009/10." Is this a list of SLaM challenges for the year ahead? If not, I would like to know where service users can get a list of such SLaM challenges as recognised by the board. Also, why is there no mention of the following challenges:
a. To roll out personalisation and recovery agendas as quickly as possible.
b. To train all staff in problem solving skills.
c. To train all staff in how to deliver bad news without causing unnecessary distress.
d. To train all staff in how to be open, honest and transparent.
e. To train all front-line staff in high standards of customer care.
f. To train all staff to use discretion in applying rules and regulations -- implementing the spirit rather than the letter of the law.
g. To train all front-line managers in identifying bad practice and replacing it with good practice.
h. To support all front-line managers in doing an excellent job.
i. To protect individual service users from unnecessary restrictions.
j. To protect individual service users from unnecessary leave restrictions.
k. To protect individual service users from boredom.
l. To protect individual service users from prejudicial documentation.
m. To make sure that rules and regulations are always explained to the satisfaction of the service user, and in writing if this is asked for.
n. To make sure that challenges to rule and regulations are encouraged, supported and resolved very quickly.
o. To dramatically improve the effectiveness of the SLaM complaints handling service.
p. To dramatically improve SLaM's response to crisis, especially out-of-hours, with a focus on desirable outcomes, and on minimising service user distress.
From reading the boardroom documents entitled “Key Performance Indicators Report” I am not convinced that SLaM is monitoring the right things, and I am not convinced that the figures quoted have any meaning at all! Is there anyone I could talk to about this?
In my opinion, the SLaM board is blissfully unaware of just how ineffective their complaints handling system is. The complaints handling department may be collecting information about problems, but it seems to me that this rarely leads to beneficial change and I would suggest that this results in low quality responses to complainants. In my opinion, the SLaM board is presented with minimalist statistics which give the impression that performance is more or less okay, especially when compared to other trusts, but I feel that these statistics do not give the full story. Because of this problem, I think some very important long standing problems are continuing not to be addressed even adequately.