Advice, compliments and complaints

Everyone has the right, under the NHS constitution to provide feedback, comments or to make a complaint about health services. Telling us your views, whether it be a comment, compliment or a complaint, helps us to know what we are doing well, learn lessons from mistakes, and prevent them happening to anyone else.

It’s really valuable when you leave feedback about your experience of health care services.

This helps us, and our providers, to ensure that you are receiving a quality service and helps us to improve the care that patients receive in the future.

You can leave feedback by reviewing a service on the NHS Choices website. Simply search for the provider and click ‘Leave review’. This is an open website, so other people will be able to see your feedback. If you have a complaint, or you need to leave any personal information, you should contact the relevant Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

You can make a complaint in writing, by email, over the telephone or in person. Your complaint should be made as soon as possible.  This should be within a year of the event. You can make a complaint on your own or on behalf of someone else if you have their permission.

This depends on which NHS service you want to complain about:

A service NHS North East London Clinical Commissioning Group (NEL CCG) commissions:

NEL CCG is the organisation that pays for the service or care you received. Contacting us (the commissioner) may be the right option if you are not comfortable complaining directly to your healthcare provider, or if you feel this is not appropriate. We will contact the provider on your behalf, with your consent.

Complaints about GPs, dentists, pharmacies, opticians and specialist commissioning services:

If you have a comment, complaint or compliment about a GP, dentist, pharmacist, optician or specialist acute service (those that are generally provided in relatively few hospitals, accessed by a comparatively small numbers of patients), you can either contact the provider (GP practice, dentist, hospital etc) or the commissioner, NHS England who hold responsibility for these services.

The way in which you can complain to NEL CCG depends on which area you live in:

NHS England can be contacted at:

Email: England.contactus@nhs.net, stating: ‘For the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line.
Tel: 0300 311 2233
Address: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
Website: england.nhs.uk/contact-us/complaint/#complain

Hospitals, mental health and community services:

All services providing NHS care have a way of receiving comments and complaints about their services. If you have a comment or complaint about a hospital, mental health, community or other NHS service, you need to raise this through that organisation’s comments and complaints system. If you want us to know about your comment or complaint, please send a copy of your letter or comments to us. The responsibility for investigating any issue arising from a complaint remains with the organisation that provided the service to you.

Please do be aware that if you have already complained to your healthcare provider, we will not be able to re-investigate the same concerns.  If you wish to escalate your complaint regarding the provider, please contact the Health Service Ombudsman (see below).

Please click on the relevant link below to see their contact details:

North East London NHS 111 service:

London Ambulance Service runs the NHS 111 Integrated Urgent Care Clinical Assessment Service for Barking and Dagenham, City of London, Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest.

For any feedback or complaints please contact LAS using the following details:

Phone: 020 3069 0240
Email: patient.experiences@lond-amb.nhs.uk
Address: London Ambulance Service NHS Trust, Patient Experiences Department, Units 1&2 Datapoint Business Centre, 6 South Crescent London E16 4TL

If you feel that you need support to raise your concern or complaint with us, you can seek support as follows:

Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge:

An organisation called the NHS Complaints Advocacy can provide you with support and advocacy. You can contact their helpline number on: 0300 330 5454 (open Monday to Friday: 9am-5pm). 

City of London and Hackney:

An organisation called Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) can provide you with support and advocacy. This service can be contacted as follows:

Email: nhscomplaints@voiceability.org
Helpline: 0300 330 5454
Textphone: 0786 002 2939
Fax: 0330 088 3762
Website: nhscomplaintsadvocacy.org

Newham:

Newham Healthwatch provides an NHS Complaints Advocacy Service. It is a free and independent service for Newham residents that can help you  make a complaint about a National Health Service. 

The service is delivered by Mind in Tower Hamlets and Newham (MiTHN) on behalf of Healthwatch Newham. Contact details are: 

NHS Complaints Advocacy Service Newham
The Resource Centre, 200 Chargeable Lane
London, E13 8DW Call 020 3828 8245
or email advocacy@healthwatchnewham.co.uk 

Voiceability is a free and independent advocacy service provided by Voiceability for all residents that: 

  • would have substantial difficulty in being involved in their care and support processes such as assessments, care planning, reviews and safeguarding enquiries.
  • have no one else (carer, family or friend) who can support their involvement.

Voiceability provide the following help and support: 

  • Professional and generic advocacy
  • Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) 
  • Independent Advocacy under the Care Act 2014
  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA)
  • Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)  

Contact details for Voiceability are: 
Stratford Advice Arcade
107-109 The Grove,
Stratford London, E15 1HP

Call 020 3355 7142 or email newham@voiceability.org.

Tower Hamlets:

An organisation called POWhER offer free advice and support with complaints. They can be contacted by phone on 0203 553 5960, email LondonIHCAS@pohwer.net or post;

London IHCAS Advocacy Hub
POhWER
Hetlands House
Primett Road
Stevenage
Hertfordshire
SG1 3EE

You can find more information on the NHS complaints procedure on the NHS Choices website – nhs.uk

Waltham Forest:

An organisation called Your Voice in Health and Social Care (YVHSC) can provide you with support and advocacy. You can contact them by phone on 020 3078 9990 or 07943862742 or via email Sandra.Ifield@healthwatchwalthamforest.co.uk.   Details on the advocacy service can be found on the Healthwatch Waltham Forest website: healthwatchwalthamforest.co.uk

Once we have received your complaint, an investigation will start. We will try and resolve all complaints at the earliest opportunity.

If we need a greater understanding of what you are complaining about, the investigator may contact you to discuss your complaint in more detail and agree a date in which we will respond by.

Once the investigation is complete, any necessary action identified will be taken to ensure the incident does not happen again.

Your right to confidentiality will be respected throughout the investigation however we may need to share information regarding your case with a third party within the NHS.  We will require your consent in order to do this. It may therefore, be useful when making your complaint to include your consent.

There may be times when we need to share information without your consent, for example to protect children and vulnerable adults.

Below are two examples of how you could provide consent. The first is for the CCG to share your complaint if we need to liaise with other NHS organisations

The second is when a complaint is made on behalf of someone else. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we will need their written or verbal consent to proceed with the complaint. 

  1. In order to allow you to fully investigate my complaint, I understand you may need to contact other services within the NHS and I hereby give you my consent to do so. [insert name, address/date of birth/telephone or mobile number, email address]
  2. In order to allow you to fully investigate the complaint raised on my behalf, I hereby give you my consent to do so. [insert name, address/date of birth/telephone or mobile number, relationship with complainant]

If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint, you should contact the service directly to see if they can look into the case further. You also have the right to take your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is independent of both the NHS and the Government and will decide if your complaint should be investigated further. The service is free for everyone. To take a complaint to the Ombudsman, go to www.ombudsman.org.uk/making-complaint  or call 0345 015 4033. You will need to contact the Ombudsman within 12 months of receiving a final response. You can find out more information on the Ombudsman’s website www.ombudsman.org.uk

You can contact their helpline on 0345 015 4033 or phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk

You can write to the Ombudsman at: The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP

As you know, the NHS is facing significant challenges due to Covid-19. NHS staff are working hard to maintain high quality care in hospitals, GP surgeries and other services. All NHS staff are focusing on patient care and supporting front line staff to deal with this emergency.

This will mean that there will be delays to responding to your complaint. This is because we need clinical and other staff to review your complaint and contribute to the investigation and they are currently supporting the NHS to respond to this virus.

We will try to respond to as many complaints as we can where we receive the clinical input required.

As NHS services respond to the impact of Covid-19, some of them may not be able to take calls regarding your complaint but you can contact them via email.

Further information can be found on the NHS England’s website: england.nhs.uk/contact-us/complaint/complaining-to-nhse/information-for-public-frequently-asked-questions/

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