A Birmingham-based hospital trust has been named as the most complained about in the NHS.

The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope and Solihull Hospital, has seen complaints increase from 82 last year to 171 this year – an rise of 109 per cent.

Eight of the complaints made this year were investigated, of which five were upheld.

The Health Service Ombudsman has now stepped in to work with the Trust.

Worcestershire Primary Care Trust (PCT) also saw a significant rise of complaints – up 104 per cent to 51.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham was the fourth worst in the UK for the number of complaints that were investigated and reported on – with six cases.

This was despite the health unit reducing the number of complaints it received overall by 20 per cent to 53. Six of these were investigated.

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, running Birmingham’s City and Sandwell hospitals, received 71 complaints.

As the Trust was not featured in the worst or best performing units, no percentage figures were reported. It faced three interventions from the Ombudsman.

A spokesman for the Health Service Ombudsman said: “Heart of England is the most complained about body and has moved up from 13th place last year. We are working with this Trust to identify what lessons can be learnt from the large number of complaints about them.”

There were 1,381 complaints about the NHS in the West Midlands from April last year to March this year, mainly for hospitals, GPs, primary care trusts and mental health. The report ruled the NHS was failing to deal appropriately with the most basic complaints.

Dr Mark Newbold, chief executive of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Of eight complaints which the Ombudsman accepted for investigation, five were upheld and we have apologised to these complainants.

“The Trust has already made considerable progress in developing innovative and proven systems for improving, measuring and maintaining standards. We are continuing to work hard to improve our services.”

Regional Complaints to the Health Service Ombudsman 2010-11

Heart of England Trust (Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull hospitals)  - 171
Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust (City, Sandwell and Rowley Regis hospitals) - 71
Dudley Group of Hospitals (Russells Hall Hospital) - 56
University Hospitals Birmingham Trust (Queen Elizabeth Hospital) - 53
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals (Alexandra and Worcester Royal hospitals) - 52
Mid Staffordshire Trust (Cannock Chase and Stafford hospitals) - 33
Royal Orthopaedic Hospital - 19
Walsall Hospitals Trust - 15
Birmingham Women’s Hospital - 14
Birmingham Children’s Hospital - 9

Community and mental health services
Worcestershire PCT - 51
Sandwell PCT - 39
Heart of Birmingham PCT - 34
South Birmingham PCT - 34
Birmingham East and North PCT - 31
Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust - 26
Dudley PCT - 24
Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership - 17
Solihull Care Trust - 15
Sandwell Mental Health - 10
Worcestershire Mental Health Partnership - 7
Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust - 4