PERFORMANCE: The east London trust has seen an average of 83 complaints a month since last January, compared to an average of 44 the previous month.

A total of 770 complaints were recorded between April and December 2011, compared to 394 for the same period in 2010.

The complaints report submitted to the January board felt this was due to adverse media coverage following poor care in March and November.

BHRUT saw “a collapse in performance” over recent months after the transfer in responsibility for handling complaints was shifted from a central unit to the medical divisions.

The board report said: “The trust has not had a strong history of timely complaints responses for some years now. Response performance was better under the centralised response system (which was itself introduced as a result of poor complaints performance), but it resulted in impersonal reports to patients and a bureaucratic process of further correspondence and meetings for many complainants, which for some lasted for over two years.

“It has also resulted in criticism from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, as the board are already aware, for the quality of responses, the lack of senior review, and the length of time it has taken the trust to deal with complainants’ concerns. “