How to raise a concern or make a formal complaint
Feedback from patients and carers help organisations celebrate what they are doing well, address persistent problems and tackle significant issues which gets in the way of good patient experience and expected quality outcomes.
The NHS complaints procedure explained
If you're not happy with the care or treatment you've received or you've been refused treatment for a condition, you have the right to complain, have your complaint investigated, and be given a full and prompt reply. You can raise a concern or make a complaint in writing, by email, over the telephone or in person.
Most issues can be resolved without you having to make a formal complaint. Try having an informal chat with your doctor or a member of staff first. A formal complaint takes time and minor issues are resolved quicker if you just speak to a person on site. For example, if you have problems booking a GP appointment speak to the practice manager about it. If you are worried about something during your hospital outpatient appointment talk to one of the nurses or the clinic manager.
NHS England calls this informal process 'local resolution' and urges everyone to see if things can be solved there and then before they escalate to a real problem.
However, if despite everything this doesn’t solve your problem, or even if it does but you would still like to make a formal complaint, you should follow the NHS complaints procedure.
Can I get help and support with making my formal complaint?
Yes. If you need help or support to formally complain about an NHS service then you should contact POWhER who provide the NHS Complaints Advocacy service in Ealing. You can contact NHS Complaints Advocacy by:
Telephone: 0203 5535 960 or 0300 456 2370
Minicom: 0300 456 2364
Text: send the word ’pohwer’ with your name and number to 81025
Or visit their website https://www.pohwer.net/ealing
When should I complain?
As soon as possible. Complaints should normally be made within 12 months of the date of the event that you're complaining about, or as soon as the matter first came to your attention.
The time limit can sometimes be extended (so long as it's still possible to investigate the complaint). An extension might be possible, for instance in situations where it would have been difficult for you to complain earlier, for example, when you were grieving or undergoing trauma.
If you made your complaint to NHS England you will receive the findings of the investigation together with an appropriate apology and the changes or learning that have taken place as a result of the investigation.
What will you do about my complaint?
Our reply to you will show how we have listened to and investigated your concerns. This might mean giving an apology, explaining what changes and improvements we will make or detailing any further action proposed.
Will my complaint remain confidential?
Your right to confidentiality will be respected throughout the investigation. However, there may be times when we will need to share information without your consent, for example to protect children and vulnerable adults.
You can find out more information using the link below:
Tips on how to make a complaint:
I am not happy with the outcome of my complaint
If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint you can refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who is independent of the NHS and government.
To make a complaint visit the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman website http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/complain-for-change/home or call 0345 015 403
If you have problems with your hearing or speech then you can use a textphone (minicom) on 0300 061 4298. (Calls to these numbers cost the same as a call to a UK landline.) You can also call using Text Relay.London SW1P 4QP.
Feedback and formal complaints about GPs, dentists, pharmacists or opticians
The CCG does not commission primary care, which includes services provided by: a doctor (GP), dentist, pharmacy or optician. If you have a comment, concern, complaint or compliment about any of these services, please contact the service directly in the first instance.
If you are unable to resolve matters and would like to raise a formal complaint, please contact:
PO Box 16728, Redditch, B97 9PT
Tel: 0300 311 22 33
Feedback and formal complaints about hospital care, community care or mental health services
If you have a comment, concern, complaint or compliment about any of these services, please contact the service directly in the first instance. If you are unable to resolve matters and would like to raise a formal complaint about:
Community services - PALs service at London North West
Health visiting – Public Health Ealing Council
If you have a concern, complaint or compliment about a hospital, please click on the links below which will take you to their contact details:
· Charing Cross Hospital: https://www.imperial.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/feedback-compliments-and-complaints/pals
· Chelsea and Westminister Hospital: http://www.chelwest.nhs.uk/your-visit/patient-advice
· Hammersmith Hospital: http://www.chelwest.nhs.uk/your-visit/patient-advice
· West Middlesex Hospital http://www.chelwest.nhs.uk/your-visit/patient-advice
· St Mary's Hospital: https://www.imperial.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/feedback-compliments-and-complaints
· Ealing Hospital: http://www.lnwh.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/your-feedback/pals/
· Northwick Park Hospital: http://www.lnwh.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/your-feedback/pals/
· Central Middlesex Hospital: http://www.lnwh.nhs.uk/patients-visitors/your-feedback/pals/