If you are unhappy with the treatment or service you have received from the NHS you have the right to make a complaint, have it investigated and receive a response. Care will be taken to ensure your complaint remains confidential.
If your concerns have not been resolved by the ward manager, modern matron, community manager or PALS and you would like to make a complaint, they will ask us to contact you. If you would like to contact us directly, details on how to do this can be found by clicking here.
A complaint can be made by someone acting on behalf of another person with their consent. A complaint can be made by anyone who is affected, or is likely to be affected, by the actions or decisions of the trust.
It is best to tell us as soon as possible after the event and within 12 months of the event happening or within 12 months of discovering you have cause to complain. Complaints received outside of these timescales may be investigated if there is a good reason why the complaint could not be made earlier and only if it is still possible to investigate what happened.
No - if you make a complaint you will not be discriminated against in any way. Any information you give will be treated in confidence and with sensitivity. Information about your complaint will always be kept separate from your medical records.
No. There will be no reference to any complaint in a patient’s medical notes.
If you need help, independent complaints advocacy organisations can give advice and information and can support you in making your complaint, for example by helping you write a complaint letter. They provide a confidential service which is free and totally independent of the NHS. Details of these organisations can be found in the useful contacts section.
We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days from the date it is received. We will discuss your complaint with you and agree your complaint plan, which will include:
- What has happened
- How long it will take us to investigate your complaint
- What you would like to see happen as a result of your complaint
- The way in which your complaint will be investigated
- How you would like to receive your response - this could be by telephone,letter or a meeting
The Trust will tell you when to expect a response and this is normally up to 35 days. However, if an extension is needed the IO will contact you to explain the reason for the delay. If we are unable to contact you in person, we may write to you to let you know that your complaint response has been delayed.
Your complaint will be investigated thoroughly by a senior member of staff. We will ensure that those involved with the investigation will be open and honest and act fairly throughout. Your response will include how we have dealt with your complaint, the conclusions, an apology if things have gone wrong and any actions taken.
If you feel that there are any matters which we have missed, misunderstood or if you would like clarification on any points, you should contact us within three months from the date you received the response. We will see if there is any further action we can take to resolve your complaint and we may suggest a telephone call or a meeting between you and the investigating manager. We will make every effort to resolve all your outstanding issues.
If you are not happy with how we have dealt with your complaint and would like to take the matter further, you may decide to forward your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman makes final decisions on unresolved complaints about the NHS in England. It is an independent service which is free for everyone to use.
If you would like to refer your complaint to the Ombudsman please contact them by visiting www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint or you can call them on 0345 015 4033 between 8.30am – 5.30, Monday to Friday.
The written response will include what lessons have been learned and how this has been shared with the staff involved. Where improvements have been made this information will be shared with you.
The complaints procedure is not specifically designed to award compensation, but the trust does have the discretion to make one-off ex-gratia payments.
If you have any concerns please contact our Patient Services and Quality Improvement department on 0191 203 1340 or email them here .