"'Standard' responses which look very insincere"

About: Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

(as other),

I have a passing interest in the 'Patient Experience' within Central Manchester NHS Trust.

I do find the 'Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to learn that your experience was not as positive as we would hope. If you would like to discuss this with us, feel free to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0161 276 8686 or by e-mailing pals@cmft.nhs.uk' and ‘Thank you for your comments posted on the NHS Choices website regarding your care. It was very kind of you to write and compliment the staff.’ …very patronising and a complete lack of acknowledgement of the actual comment. It is as if someone is responding with a couple of cut and paste 'standard' phrases which mean nothing and look very insincere.

I understand that it is difficult to respond to some posts dues to the lack of detailed information, but even some acknowledgement of the actual complaint would be good.

Some comments I have read are quite comprehensive and detailed (e.g. "Very poor experience, poor value for money" posted in Dec 2011) but then given a standard ‘we’re sorry please contact PALs’ is seen by many as "we don’t care enough even to acknowledge your specific comments about ‘appointment times and being messed about’ to reference this in our response".

Finally, what commenters need is to have some sense that CMFT is looking at all the comments and opinions across the Trust, and responding with possible actions to prevent more negative experiences, or trying to share the positive comments, and not just posting an insincere standard apology and/or thanks.

I await to see what type of response this post gets!

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Response from Eve Koutidou, Patient Experience & Quality Project Officer , Patient Experience & Quality, Patient Partnership Department, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you for taking an interest in the patient experience at Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, I am grateful to you for taking the time to review the responses within Patient Opinion and giving some feedback.

I was really sorry to learn that you felt the tone of some of the responses that are provided to our patients who make postings to Patient Opinion were patronising and failed to acknowledge the comments made. As you say it is difficult to respond to all the posts in a full way often because of a lack of detailed information. We have been trying to strike a balance with most responses between providing feedback and also giving patients an open door into our PALS team if they would like to raise more detailed concerns.

The responses are provided by the service about which the patient has provided feedback and the aim of this is to ensure that the issues are heard and an opportunity provided to the service to make changes and improvements wherever possible, and it’s unfortunate that this hasn’t come through in our replies to postings.

I have spent some time reviewing the database of responses which we have provided to patients and their carers to via NHS Choices and Patient Opinion and agree with the comments in this posting about some of them. We can do more to make these more personal and demonstrate the actions that have been taken to bring about change in our services. I hope that the postings in the future are felt to reflect more accurately the comments made by patients and how an individual service or as a Trust plan to act on this matter.

Deborah Carter, Deputy Director of Nursing

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