Kath Bromilow – NW Ambulance Patient Safety Department

On 29th July we held our first face-to-face meeting with our members at Longlands Hotel. The lockdowns due to the Covid pandemic meant that we could only sustain our club fellowship by meeting on Zoom.  

Our speaker was our own member Kath Bromilow M.B.E, who is District Governor Elect. 

Kath at short notice had agreed to talk about her job in the Patient Safety Department of the North West Ambulance Service based at Broughton. After 33 years service in various roles in the Police Force she  took up a post as Office Manager for the National Police Cadets Organisation. This role suited her interests in supporting communities and signposting young people to greater opportunities. Many cadets have become role models for other young people encouraging them to take part in social action activities. In the 5 years occupying this position the number of police cadets grew from 32 in her area to 20,000 cadets in all national police forces.

Moving to her new job Kath has a team working in the  office of the Patient Safety Department. This team deals with complaints and concerns raised internally by staff and externally by members of the public. These issues can for example be about delays in ambulance response and public dissatisfaction with the service. Kath said in receiving complaints over the telephone you have to listen sympathetically to the complainant, apologise where appropriate, agree to investigate but not over promise an outcome. Some complainants have an underlying issue which might have to lead to a need to change policies and so all complaints are registered and sent to an investigation team. The complainant will then receive a report. Kath quoted the complaint of ambulances passing a property at night-time causing a ‘noise nuisance’. This complaint would have to be investigated. Kath said mental health issues led some complainants to phone in up to six times a day. These complainants had to be recognised as making a genuine complaint but the system should not be abused. At times steps needed to be taken to discourage these frequent callers by offering a referral to an appropriate support organisation.   

Web site   http://nwas.nhs.uk