The NHS trust that runs Dewsbury and District Hospital was one of the most complained about in the country.

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust received 1,405 official complaints in 2013/14, the fourth highest of any health trust in England.

The trust, which also runs Pontefract and Pinderfields hospitals, is the most complained about in the north, receiving complaints at a rate of almost four a day – three times higher than neighbour, the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, which runs HRI and Calderdale Royal.

Figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show 977 (70%) of Mid Yorkshire’s complaints were upheld.

Nationwide, a 4.6% increase in complaints was recorded with Barts Health NHS Trust in London topping the complaints league with 2,451.

The most complained about service was hospitals.

Patients’ right group Healthwatch England described the figures as the “tip of the iceberg” while the Kirklees branch of Healthwatch labelled the news as “disappointing”.

Healthwatch said most people did not report poor care and a survey it had carried out suggested there were 500,000 unreported cases of unsatisfactory patient care across the NHS in the past two years.

Helen Wright, from Healthwatch Kirklees, said: “What we need to know now is, following these complaints, how will things at Mid Yorkshire Hospitals improve?

“What is being learnt and how are things changing?

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in Lindley
Huddersfield Royal Infirmary in Lindley
 

“It’s important to see the number of complaints fall, but we want to see improvement in everyone’s experiences of using hospital services in this area.

“We actively encourage people to give feedback about their experience of using health care services, good and bad, and can give advice about where people should go to make complaints.”

David Melia, diirector of Patient and Staff Engagement at The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Patient feedback is very important to help us evaluate our services and make improvements in our care.

“While the number of complaints we receive is very small compared to the number of people we care for every year, we will always take every opportunity to improve the quality of the services, care and experience we provide. “The Trust has a robust and accessible complaints procedure to ensure concerns are fully addressed and that the patient experience is continually improved.

“We always recommend people speak to the ward manager if they are an inpatient, or the doctor or receptionist if they are attending an outpatient clinic in the first instance.

“Sometimes patients feel they can’t do this and this is where the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can step in to help patients get the answers they need.

“PALS actively promotes its service so patients know when and how to raise concerns. The service works with patients and their families as well as colleagues in wards and departments to resolve problems quickly.

“Earlier this year we opened a PALS drop in centre at Pinderfields Hospital that offers people the opportunity to have face-to-face contact with the team without the need for an appointment.

“The service is proving popular with patients and visitors, who are finding it a more friendly and accessible way to comment on services, raise any concerns and compliment staff who have provided excellent care.”

The levels of complaints at other NHS organisations in the region were much lower.

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust received 564 complaints in 2013/14.

Director of Nursing at the Trust, Julie Dawes, said: “Our numbers have fallen this year yet one complaint is one too many.

“We investigate them all and share findings to ensure we are continually improving care for all our patients.”

Elsewhere, Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, received 481 complaints, Locala Community Partnerships, 30, Greater Huddersfield CCG, 14, Calderdale CCG, 23 and North Kirklees CCG, nine.