Giving feedback – both positive and negative – about treatment you’ve received from an NHS service
This page provides information on the process of providing feedback on health and care experiences:
- A national Guide to help you make a complaint or raise a concern about your healthcare
- Local Information on raising a concern or making a complaint about your healthcare
- Acute hospitals
- Mental health trust - Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
- Ambulance Service - The South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
- Making a complaint about a GP or Dentist
- Complaining to NHS England
- Parliamentary and Health services Ombudsman
- Guidance through the process of making a complaint
The NHS constitution makes a pledge to encourage and welcome feedback on health and care experiences and to use this feedback to improve services. We know that it is not always easy to find the information you need to do this so we have provided some information to get you started.
Each health organisation will have a person, department or team who is responsible for dealing with feedback. This includes complaints, concerns and compliments. In a GP or dental practice, this is normally the Practice Manager. In a hospital this team or department can often be called different things, for example, Customer Care/Customer Services/Patient Experience or complaints department.
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)is an impartial, confidential advice and support resource and is based in hospitals, mental health trusts and clinical commissioning groups. It is not involved in the complaints process but often acts as a support for patients, their relatives and carers. It can provide information on how to resolve issues before they escalate or on how to make a complaint.
A National Guide to help you make a complaint or raise a concern about your healthcare
Healthwatch England has worked with The Citizens Advice Bureau to produce a series of guides to help you make a complaint or raise a concern.
There are tips and tools such as letter templates and other practical resources to support you to make an effective complaint. These tools can be accessed by clicking here (this will take you to an external website).
Local Information on raising a concern or making a complaint about your healthcare
Below are contact details for the PALS/Customer Care/Customer Services/Patient Experience teams at each of the local Acute Trusts, mental health trust and ambulance service.
It is always good to try and sort out any issue you have at a local level first. So, if you feel able, try to speak to the nurse, doctor, dentist, care provider, paramedic etc. first.
If you want further information on how to go about raising a concern or making a complaint about a local service, you can contact Healthwatch Wiltshire who is the local consumer champions for health and social care.
Phone: 01225 434218
You could also contact one of the PALS team at Wiltshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Group who welcome your suggestions and feedback about local health services. They can help you to resolve any problems you may experience to help make local healthcare services more effective.
Tel: 0300 123 2103 (live 9am – 5pm; answer phone outside of office hours)
(Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to a 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls. These rules apply to all calls from any type of line including mobile, BT, other fixed line or payphone).
From 1st April 2013, if a member of the public has a comment or complaint about a GP, dentist, pharmacy or optician that cannot be resolved by the Practice Manager, they need to contact NHS England at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 0300 311 2233.
1. Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GWH)
GWH provides acute hospital services (at the Great Western Hospital) and community health services across Wiltshire. Theseservicesincludecommunity hospitals (Chippenham, Devizes, Warminster, Melksham, Savernake and Trowbridge), community nursing, therapists and children and young people's services.
You can visit the PALS team on the ground floor of the Great Western Hospital, Swindon at the address below.
The offices are open Monday-Friday, from 8.30am-5pm.
Patient Advice and Liaison Service
Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Great Western Hospital
Wiltshire Health and Care PALS is based at GWH.
2. Salisbury District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
The Customer Care Team is for patients, their relatives and carers and offers on-the-spot advice.
Visit the Customer Care Team on level 2 of the north Salisbury District Hospital building (Nunton Unit).
Monday - Friday 8:30 to 4:30pm. The nearest car park is car park 8, enter by the Springs Restaurant entrance.
Freephone - 0800 374208
3. Royal United Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service can be found just inside in the main entrance of the hospital.
Royal United Hospital NHS Trust
Mental Health Trust
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
Contact their PALS and Complaints team:
Jenner House, Langley Park, Chippenham SN15 1GG
The South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
Patient Experience (including Comments, Concerns and Complaints)- 01392 261585
Making a complaint about a GP or a Dentist
It is often best to try and sort out any problems at a local level. Your dentist/GP should have a practice and/or complaints leaflet that tell you about their complaints process. However, it is most usual to first speak to the Practice Manager.
If after you have gone through the complaints process at your medical/GP practice, and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can bring your complaint to NHS England.
NHS England is the commissioner (or purchaser) of Primary Care i.e GPs, dentists, opticians, pharmacy and some specialised services.
Complaining to NHS England:
PO Box 16738
email to: email@example.com
Please state: ‘For the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line.
Telephone: 0300 311 22 33
- Monday - Tuesday 8 am to 6 pm
- Wednesday 9.30 am to 6 pm
- Thursday - Friday 8am to 6pm
They are closed at weekends and bank holidays.
They will take a note of your complaint and arrange for it to be passed to a case officer.
If after going through the complaints process you are still unhappy with the response that you have received from the NHS service or NHS England, you can go to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman. It makes final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England and UK government departments and other UK public organisations.
Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman
Customer helpline:0345 015 4033 Open from: 8:30am - 5:30pm Monday - Friday
People can also enter their complaint online at http://www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint/how-to-complain
These short animated videos explain what Ombudsman does and how the service works.
How Ombudsman can help with a complaint
What happens when the Ombudsman receives your complaint
What Happens when the Ombudsman investigates your complaint
The Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman has put together a lot of information that shows you how to make a complaint or raise a concern about your care.
There are videos, posters and leaflets in easy read. Take a look at all this information.
I would like some support and guidance through the process of making a complaint - Who can help?
Sometimes, making a complaint about your care can be stressful, upsetting, and overwhelming. If you feel that you would like some help and support to guide you through the process, you can use an advocacy service.
The advocate can support and guide you through the process of making a formal complaint. An advocate patiently listens to you, helps you understand, and explains your options and choices. The advocate ensures you have the support to make an informed choice and get the help and support you need. The service is free, independent and confidential. The free NHS advocacy service for Wiltshire is called SEAP. You will first need to ring the national centre who, with your permission, will pass your details to a local advocate.
Reviewed and updated 28th September 2018