Delays in care: referring a complaint to a provider to resolve directly with the consumer

A woman who had been diagnosed with Stage 2 myeloma (a type of blood cancer) complained to HDC about a delay in receiving her stem cell transplant procedure at her local hospital. She told HDC that the uncertainty around when she would be receiving treatment was causing undue financial stress and hardship for her family, and she was concerned that it would affect her employment.

HDC considered her complaint carefully, and felt that her concerns could be reasonably addressed directly with the provider. HDC wrote to the provider, sharing a copy of the complaint and setting out the expectations for resolution. The provider was asked to contact the consumer directly and ask whether she would like to meet to discuss her concerns, or if she would like to receive a written response.

The consumer opted to receive a written response, and a copy was shared with HDC, to ensure that the provider’s response to her complaint was satisfactory.

The provider acknowledged that all patients should feel comforted and cared for, and offered an apology for the delay the consumer experienced. The provider gave a detailed explanation of what had caused the delay, and an outline of the steps taken to mitigate further instances of delay, and also provided the consumer with a letter that she could give to her employer to explain why she would require additional time off work.

She subsequently let HDC know she had been admitted for treatment and her complaint had been resolved to her satisfaction.