Making a complaint
If we have not been able to resolve your concerns, you can make a complaint; we can investigate further and respond as soon as we can. We might ask you to meet with us to talk through your concerns and where we need to put things right, we will.
Who can complain?
Anyone who is receiving, or has received, NHS treatment or services can complain. You can complain for yourself, a friend or a relative, but you must have their permission to do so. If the patient is deceased, young or very ill, then you need consent from the next of kin.
How can I complain?
To make a complaint, you can;
What information should I include?
You should be as specific about your complaint and what you would like us to do to resolve them. Please include the following;
When can I complain?
You should make your complaint as soon as possible but not more than twelve months after the event. This is because we are able to better investigate concerns while events are fresh in people’s memories. We may be able to look into things which happened more than twelve months ago, if there is a genuine reason why you could not make a complaint sooner.
I am worried that making a complaint will affect my care. Will the staff treat me differently?
No. All of our staff are encouraged to be open and respond positively to complaints. Making a complaint will not have a negative effect on your care. If you have any concerns about this, please talk to our Local Resolution (PALS) team.
You can read our Complaints handling policy Complaints-Handling-Policy-ORG008-SWBH.
Where can I get help in making my complaint?
POhWER (NHS Complaints Advocacy Service)
Telephone: 0300 456 2370 (charged at your standard network rate)
Minicom: 0300 456 2364
Fax: 0300 456 2365
Text: send the word ’pohwer’ with your name and number to 81025
Address: PO Box 17943, Birmingham, B9 9PB
The Patient Association is the national non-disease specific helpline for anyone trying to navigate the health and social care systems in the UK. The helpline is free and a call back service is provided for those who call out of hours. They can be contacted on;
Telephone: 020 8423 8999 (Monday to Friday 9.30am-5pm)
What can I do if I am not happy with the response?
If you are not happy with the response we give you, you can tell us why and explain what else you want us to do. We will review your concerns and see if there is more we can do.
If, once we have done all we can, you are still unhappy, you can complain to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman at;
Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman,
Telephone: 0345 015 4033 – Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.30pm
Care Quality Commission
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator for all health and social care services in England. They can be contacted for information and advice. You can also give them feedback about your experiences of health and social care services, although CQC cannot investigate individual complaints.
Telephone: 0300 616161 – Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5.30pm
Fax: 0300 616 171
Address: CQC National Correspondence, Cityscape, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 4PA