20910 - Complaints about Obesity

How many complaints through the patient advice and liaison system (PALS) your trust received from patients alleging they had been discriminated against or badly treated by a member of staff because of their being overweight or obese. 

Please do this by searching for complaints containing any of the words "weight", "fat", "obese", "overweight" and "bariatric" and filtering these to find those that refer to fat-shaming comments made by a member of staff. 

Can you select the first five such complaints from 2018 and provide me with the following details:

1. What type of staff member was the complaint levelled against? E.g. healthcare assistant, junior doctor, consultant, cleaner, kitchen staff 
2. Please quote the words allegedly used by the hospital staff or summarise the offending action 
3. Please tell me what, if any, action was taken by your trust in response to these five sample complaints from the beginning of 2018

  • Reference:
    20910
  • Response:

    How many complaints through the patient advice and liaison system (PALS) your trust received from patients alleging they had been discriminated against or badly treated by a member of staff because of their being overweight or obese. 

    Please do this by searching for complaints containing any of the words "weight", "fat", "obese", "overweight" and "bariatric" and filtering these to find those that refer to fat-shaming comments made by a member of staff. 

    Can you select the first five such complaints from 2018 and provide me with the following details:

    1. What type of staff member was the complaint levelled against? E.g. healthcare assistant, junior doctor, consultant, cleaner, kitchen staff 
    2. Please quote the words allegedly used by the hospital staff or summarise the offending action 
    3. Please tell me what, if any, action was taken by your trust in response to these five sample complaints from the beginning of 2018

    The Trust does not record complaints in such specific terms; we do not have a specific category that would identify it a being about the patient’s weight. It may be recorded as Privacy and Dignity or staff attitude. 

    However, by running a complaints received report for each of the years, the Trust has been able to search using the description of the complaints containing any of the words "weight", "fat", "obese", "overweight" and "bariatric" and this brought up 4 cases, one in 2016, one in 2017 and 2 in 2018. Therefore there are not five sample cases from 2018. Please see below the details and information of the 4 cases.

    2016 
    Staff Members –Paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician
    Complaint: Patient fell at home. The patient was sat in a chair but due to their weight, they could not sit fully into the chair.  The patient made the crew aware of this.  Patient reported that the crew found this very amusing
    Action: crew interviewed and apologies provided, it was not their intention to cause offence. Staff reminded of how actions and communication can be interpreted and reflected on this.

    2017
    Staff members – Paramedics
    Complaint: The Paramedic kept making references to the patient’s size and weight.
    Action:  Crew were interviewed and statements taken, they cannot recall making reference to the patient’s size and apologised if they caused any offence as it was not their intention.

    2018
    Staff members – Patient Transport staff – Ambulance Care Assistants
    Complaint: One of the crew commented that if he fell he would leave him on the floor and wouldn’t pick him up because he was a bit obese.
    Action: The staff member apologised if he caused offence as this was not his intention.  The investigating manager reiterated to the members of staff the expectations of professional standards expected by all Trust staff.

    2018
    Staff members – Patient Transport staff – Ambulance Care Assistants
    Complaint: The crew member made comments regarding the patients weight.
    Action: Meeting held with patient and full details taken.  Staff member dealt with via Trust policies and procedures.

  • Area:
    Trust wide
  • Category:
    Complaints / Concerns / Feedback
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  • Year: