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Annual Report 2014

the patient voice how patients help shape the service by Disa Young, Senior Adviser

ISCAS has always recognised the fundamental importance of patient involvement in our complaints service. We have secured patient involvement at the highest level through patient representation on the ISCAS Governance Board. In addition, patient and advocacy organisations are formally consulted on each review of the ISCAS Code and associated documentation.

In 2014, ISCAS identified that we needed to better capture, learn and act on feedback from patients who have been through Independent Adjudication. Patients are now asked to rate the way their complaint was handled by ISCAS and we have achieved a 48% response rate.

Adjudicators respond directly to patients on their feedback and the ISCAS Management Team reports feedback received to the ISCAS Governance Board. The following table illustrates some of the ways in which patient feedback shaped the ISCAS service in 2014:

Patient feedback

There was a mixed response to how well patients felt they were kept informed about the progress of their complaint.

Dissatisfaction was expressed with the length of time taken to complete reports.

Patients requested more information on how ISCAS manages patient records.

Patients asked to see evidence of how ISCAS members have made changes following an adjudication decision.

ISCAS received feedback from patients that they consider the level of goodwill payment awarded to be too low.

Action taken by ISCAS

Adjudicators added two standard letters to the process.

ISCAS appointed a third adjudicator.

ISCAS added this information to its correspondence and the Patient Guide.

ISCAS added to its correspondence explaining that adjudication reports are shared with the Care Quality Commission and how the regulator uses that information.

ISCAS continues to manage patient expectations and as the Goodwill Payments Guide becomes more embedded, this should be less of an issue.

Patient feedback on ISCAS regarding the process has been consistently positive. The thoroughness of the adjudicators’ investigations is often highlighted and the majority of patients consider that the adjudicator’s decision addressed their complaint well. Finally, the following is a sample of patient feedback received:

“The report was excellent, professional, easily understood and I felt my papers that I submitted were fully read, understanding the complexity of the situation.”

“The process undertaken by ISCAS was overall excellent with a particularly clear and precise report.”

“I am fairly satisfied with the outcome of my complaint. I appreciate finally that someone listened to my issues raised. I praise all the hard work that the adjudicator put into my complaint.” 9

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