"Responses to service problems"

About: Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

I have had repeated problems with my local mental health service and would like to comment on the managers. I have had contact with managers either as a result of a formal complaint, informal complaint, via PALS, the local advocacy service or in response to posting on patient opinion website.

In my opinion there are 3 manager types.

1. The maximum one minute phone call with a grumpy manager who doesn't need to know the problem but will sort something. This means change the main care giver - not in a timely manner and not addressing the issues. In my experience, this is the manager type who also doesn't get back to you when an advocate has spoken to them

2 The limited time, highly placed manager. This manager typically sets an eg 20 - 40 minutes time slot to deal with you. They are superficially friendly but assertive. They spend their allotted time telling you about the aspirations of the services they are responsible for and their policies. They don't seem to want to know what your problem is or explore solutions.

3. The genuine solution orientated manager. They seem caring, are interested in the problem, don't appear rushed and propose plausible solutions. Unfortunately they then delegate the solution to one of the above manager types.

Every time I articulate a problem it makes it more real and makes things seem more hopeless.

I hope that this post will enable the trust to review how it deals with people experiencing problems with services and think about how the managers deal with problems. I would suggest there is no excuse for curtness/ rudeness, a need to understand the problem to solve it (ie listen don't preach - I assume your policies are to provide at least an adequate service) and a need to identify a pathway if the solution is notfollowed through or successful.

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Response from Keeley Brickle, PALS Manager, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your comments., NTW values feedback whether this be positive or negative to strive to improve the quality of our services.

I am the Complaints and PALS Manager working in a corporate, non-clinical setting and am responsible for administering the responses on the Patient Opinion website for our Trust. If you would like to discuss your comments further I am contactable on 0191 2456679.

Alternatively, if there is a particular area of the Trust where you feel it would benefit discussing any concerns with a Senior Manager, then please let me know and I can foward your opinions across to the relevant people and area.


Keeley Brickle

Complaints and PALS Manager

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful