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Complaints

Making a complaint is never easy – it can be especially difficult when you are in our care or anticipate using our services again in the future. We want to make sure you know how best to go about raising a concern and reassure you that making a complaint will not adversely affect or jeopardise your current or future treatment or that of a loved one or relative.

The Trust always takes complaints very seriously and use them to learn and improve our services. Whatever your complaint or concern is about, it can be made either verbally or in writing.

Complaints must be made within 12 months of the event or within 12 months of becoming aware of the event. However, this can be extended at the discretion of the Complaints Manager.

Staff in the Complaints department are impartial and are there to help you.

Serious or complex complaints, and concerns will be subject to the regulations set down by Parliament, the Local Authority Social Services and NHS Complaints (England) Regulations 2009.

How do I make a complaint?

Verbal complaint

If you feel comfortable doing so, you could raise your complaint with any member of staff who will listen to your concerns. If they cannot resolve your issue they can forward it to the Complaints Team for you.

You can also bring your complaint to the attention of the Chief Executive by ringing the Complaints Team on 01782 275031 or Freephone 0800 389 9676.

Written complaint

If you do not wish to raise your concerns with the staff directly involved with your care and you prefer to raise your concerns in writing, you can do so by any of the following:

In writing:

Caroline Donovan, Chief Executive

North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust

Lawton House

Bellringer Road

Trentham

ST4 8HH

Email: complaints@northstaffs.nhs.uk (emails are monitored Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)

Text any comments or concerns to 07718 971123. This text service is available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and charged at your provider’s rate.

These contacts are not intended to be used for emergency purposes. Please contact the Access Team on 0300 123 0907 (option 1), your GP, your care coordinator or the emergency services if you need urgent assistance.

For more information on the support available with making a complaint, please click here.

We have a complaints procedure which is in line with national guidance. Please contact the Complaints Team using any of the details above, for a copy.

What happens to my complaint once it has been received by the Trust?

  • You will receive written confirmation that your complaint has been received. This acknowledgement of your complaint will be sent no later than 3 working days after the day on which the complaint was received.
  • A timescale for our response will be agreed with you.
  • You will then receive a formal letter of response from the Chief Executive which will inform you of the outcome of the investigation and any recommendations.

Our Listening, Responding and Improving booklet provides further information on how the Trust aims to listen and respond to your concerns and it also contains valuable information on a number of subject areas.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Trust's Complaints Manager for further information or advice on the complaints procedure.

What if I am not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation of my complaint?

Our aim is to resolve as many complaints as possible at a local level and therefore, if you are not satisfied following receipt of the Chief Executive’s response to your complaint you will be offered an opportunity to discuss your concerns personally with the relevant senior manager or doctor, if it is appropriate to do so.

What if my complaint cannot be resolved at a local level?

If you remain dissatisfied you may be offered the opportunity to meet with an Executive Director of the Trust, if relevant to the concerns raised and if it is appropriate to do so. For example, a meeting with the Medical Director may be offered if the complaint is related to medical matters.

Do I have any other options?

If you are dissatisfied with the response to your complaint from the Chief Executive you can request that the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman independently review your case. They are a completely independent body of the NHS and Government. Their services are available to everyone and are free of charge.

Contacting the Ombudsman

The Health Service Ombudsman

11th Floor Millbank Tower

Millbank

London

W1P 4QP

Tel: 0345 015 4033

Web: www.ombudsman.org.uk

Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk