Complaints

Complaints

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1 July 2022


We are committed to ensuring that we deliver high quality, safe, effective, patient-focused care through the services we provide. We want to hear about your experience of using local health services.

If you have not received a good service, we need to know about it. If you are unhappy with your NHS care or treatment, or how you were dealt with, you have the right to make a complaint.

Our staff work hard to get things right, but sometimes things don’t go as well as we would like them to. If you are unhappy with our services, or the care you have received, please let us know so that we can try to put things right. Your feedback will help us to learn and improve services to help prevent any future issues.

We would also love to hear from you if things went well, so please let us know if you have any feedback or compliments relating to our services.

Who can make a complaint?

If you are unhappy with NHS services or treatment that you have received, or if you have been affected by the actions or decisions of an NHS organisation then you can raise a complaint. If you are unable to complain yourself, someone can act on your behalf, with your written consent.

Businesses or other care providers CANNOT make a complaint under the NHS complaints procedure.

Who should I complain to?

The NHS complaints procedure gives people a choice of whether to complain to the provider of the services, or the commissioner of the service. If you complain to us about a service that we have commissioned, we will manage the complaint but will need to ask the provider to investigate.

If your complaint involves more than one organisation you should only need to make one complaint. You will be asked to provide consent to share your concerns with all organisations involved and will usually receive a single, coordinated response.

For complaints about primary care (GP or dental practices, community pharmacies and opticians) or prison healthcare, these should be directed to NHS England as they commission those services. You can contact NHS England by telephone on 0300 311 2233 or by email to england.contactus@nhs.net.

How do I make a complaint?

Complaints, compliments and enquiries are handled by our patient services team. You can contact us via any of the methods below and we will be happy to help.

Freephone: 0808 196 8861

Email: PatientServices@staffsstoke.icb.nhs.uk

Post: New Beacon Building, Stafford Education and Enterprise Park, Weston Road, Stafford, ST18 OBF

Any information you provide will be treated in strict confidence. We may need to collect personal information from you so that we can provide the best possible service. Please be assured that your personal details will not be shared with anyone else without your consent.

For further information, please read our complaints policy.

When should I make a complaint?

You should raise your complaint as soon as possible, but in any case, within 12 months of you becoming aware that a problem has occurred.

We appreciate this is not always possible and where this period has passed, we would still like you to speak with us. In special circumstances, complaints can still be accepted after this period of time has passed. Please speak to us if you are considering raising a complaint that is more than 12 months old.

How will you deal with my complaint?

We will contact you within three working days of receiving your complaint and will then agree with you how we will look into your complaint and what you can expect. The complaints team will always consider whether there is a way to resolve your complaint quickly and informally. If not, they will explain how the complaints process works and will request a thorough investigation.

We will also provide a timescale by which you should receive your response. Once the investigation has been completed you will receive a full written response from our Chief Executive Officer.

Will I be treated fairly?

We understand that some people worry that their treatment might be adversely affected because they have raised a complaint. Please do not worry about this. We also appreciate that those using our services have different needs and we want to make sure you do not face any barriers when raising a complaint. Staff will be happy to discuss this with you to ensure you are not disadvantaged in any way.

What help is available when making a complaint? Who can I contact for support?

If you would like help and support making your complaint, including help writing your letter, you can contact advocacy support. This support can help by providing free, confidential and independent support and information about the NHS complaints procedure.

There are local advocacy providers who can guide and support you through the NHS complaints process.

They are free and independent of the NHS. They can help you put your complaint in writing and attend meetings with you, but they do not investigate complaints.

If you live within the city of Stoke-on-Trent, you can access advocacy support by contacting:

Asist Advocacy

Telephone: 01782 845584 or text 60777 and start your message with Asist

Email: Enquiries@asist.co.uk

Website: www.asist.co.uk/contact-us

Post: Winton House, Stoke Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 2RW

For residents of Staffordshire (excluding the city of Stoke-on-Trent) you should contact:

Total Voice Staffordshire

Telephone: 01785 336387

Email: info@totalvoicestaffs.org

Website: https://www.voiceability.org/support-and-help/making-a-complaint-about-your-care

Post: The Northfield Centre, Magnolia Avenue, Stafford, ST16 3DU

What if I am unhappy with the way the NHS has handled my complaint?

You can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to consider your complaint further. The role of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is to make final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS, operating fairly and without taking sides. This service is free.

Telephone: 0345 015 4033

Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk

Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk