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Complaining about a health service
Making a complaint helps organisations learn lessons from mistakes and stops them from happening again to you or other people.
You can get help to make a complaint about something that was not right about the service you recieved from a health service or organisation like the CCG or the NHS.
Last updated: 27/04/18
NHS England is responsible for purchasing primary care services such as:
- optical services and
- some specialised services
You can contacted NHS England to make a formal official complaint.
Find out more: NHS England Complaints
How can I make a complaint?
You can make a complaint:
- in writing
- by email
- over the telephone or
- in person.
Your complaint should be made; as soon as possible, within a year of the event, on your own behalf, on behalf of someone else if you have their permission
Who should I contact with my complaint?
Contact the service you are making a complaint about directly
All services providing NHS care will have a complaints process in line with the NHS complaints process.
If you have a complaint about a hospital, mental health, community or other NHS service, you should contact the organisations directly.
If you want the CCG to know about your complaint as well please send a copy of it to us:
NHS City And Hackney CCG
Phone: 020 3816 3222
Address: 3rd Floor A Block, St Leonards Hospital, Nuttall Street, London, N1 5LZ
The responsibility for investigating your complaint is with the service that you have complained about.
Local providers have their own details and contact information about how to make a complaint:
- East London Foundation Trust
- Barts Health (Royal London Hospital)
- Whittington Hospital
If you have a complaint about the way an NHS service has been commissioned or how this has directly affected you, contact:
The North and East London Commissioning Support Unit (NEL CSU)
Patient Experience and Effectiveness Team,
Phone: 0208 926 5404 / 5075
NEL CSU are an NHS organisation who manage the complaints process on our behalf.
Information on how to make a complaint can be made available:
- in other languages
- on audio cassette or CD
- in large print
- Braille and
- in illustrated format
Interpreters can also be arranged, including sign interpreters.
An organisation called Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service - provided by POhWER can help you with support and advocacy.
Contact: Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service - provided by POhWER
Helpline: 0300 456 2370
Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
Homerton University Hospital
Phone: 020 8510 7315
Fax: 020 8510 7733
PALS office is based in the main entrance of Homerton hospital.
This service can be contacted Monday - Friday 9am-5pm
Complaints will be dealt with in a way that is appropriate for the issues that your complaint has raised.
Complaint will be investigated by the NHS organisation responsible.
They will aim to resolve the concerns and, where needed, will take action to stop the same thing from happening again to you and other people.
Once you complaint is recieved you will:
- have your complaint acknowledged and properly looked into
- be kept informed of progress and told the outcome
- be treated fairly, politely and with respect
- be reassured that your care and treatment will not be affected as a result of making a complaint
- be offered the opportunity to discuss the complaint with a complaints manager
- expect appropriate action to be taken following your complaint
You will not be treated unfavourably if you make a complaint.
Most of the time nobody except the people you have told will know about it.
Your right to confidentiality will be respected throughout the investigation into your complaint.
Sometimes when we need to share information without your consent, for example to protect children and vulnerable adults.
If you are unhappy with the way your complaint is dealt with you should contact the service directly to see if they can look into what happened and why you are not satisfied.
You can take your complaint further by going to the Health Service Ombudsman.
There are time limits for taking a complaint to the Ombudsman but the Ombudsman can decide to look at it if they think that there is good reason to do so.
You can write to the Ombudsman...
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman,
London SW1P 4QP
Ombudsman helpline: 0345 015 4033