Suggestions, Comments and Complaints

We would like to hear from you if you have a suggestion on how we can do things better to improve our patients’ experiences. We’d also like to hear from you if you are pleased with the service you’ve received. Please fill in our feedback form.

As well as online, you may write to us or contact us by phone. Our details can be found on our Contact Us page.

If you are unhappy with the treatment or service you have received from the NHS you are entitled to make a complaint, have it considered, and receive a response from the NHS organisation or primary care practitioner concerned.

Please find further information and downloadable complaint form here

A Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) has been established in every NHS Trust and Clinical Commissioning Group. PALS are not part of the complaints procedure itself but they might be able to resolve your concerns informally or can tell you more about the complaints procedure and independent complaints advocacy services.

Who can complain?

A complaint can be made by a patient or person affected or likely to be affected by the actions or decisions of a NHS organisation or primary care practitioner. A complaint can also be made by someone acting on behalf of the patient or person, with their consent.

What is the time limit for making a complaint?

You should normally complain within 12 months of the event(s) concerned or within 12 months of becoming aware that you have something to complain about.

Primary care practitioners and complaints managers in NHS organisations have discretion to waive this time limit if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier.

To whom should I complain initially?

The first stage of the NHS complaints procedure is ‘Local Resolution’. Your complaint should be made in the first instance to the organisation or primary care practitioner providing the service. Local resolution aims to resolve complaints quickly and as close to the source of the complaint as possible using the most appropriate means; for example, use of conciliation.

You can raise your concerns immediately by speaking to a member of staff (e.g. doctor, nurse, dentist, GP or practice manager) or someone else, e.g. the PALS.

They may be able to resolve your concerns without the need to make a more formal complaint.

However, if you do want to continue with your complaint you can do this orally or by writing (including email) to the primary care practitioner or the NHS organisation concerned. If you make your complaint orally a written record should be made by the complaints manager.

You should receive a response from a primary care practitioner within 10 working days or from the Head of Corporate Affairs of the NHS organisation concerned within 20 working days. You should be kept informed of progress if this is not going to happen.

Independent Review

If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint, including a complaint about an NHS Foundation Trust, you can ask the Health Service Ombudsman for an “Independent Review” of your case.

The Health Service Ombudsman is an independent body established to promote improvements in healthcare.

Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk

Complaints helpline: 0345 014 4033 (Monday–Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm)

Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk

Fax: 0300 061 4000

Address: The Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London SW1P 4QP

Where can I get further advice and help?

The PALS or complaints manager at the NHS organisation you are complaining about can provide advice, including about local independent complaints advocacy services.

Telephone: 0118 982 2829

The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) provides advice and support to people who want to complain about the NHS. Details are at www.dh.gov.uk.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of all health and social care in England. They monitor, inspect and regulate all hospitals, care homes, home-care agencies, GP practices and dental practices.
www.cqc.org.uk / 03000 616161