PERFORMANCE: Complaints ranging from an elderly patient pursued by debt collectors over a parking ticket to a pregnant woman who was told to “stop wasting hospital time” and subsequently had a stillbirth were among 20 complaints discussed at West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust board meeting.

The board looked at two weeks’ complaints and responses dating from last November as part of a review process: last year it had looked at a full month’s but the increasing complexity of the cases meant this had to be reduced.  This complexity has also meant that the trust is struggling to reply to such cases within the NHS target of 40 working days.

Only 60 per cent of these cases are being dealt with within this time, against 75 per cent 18 months ago. The trust had wanted to raise performance against this measure to 95 per cent.