How to make a formal complaint about health services
Many complaints can be resolved quickly by discussing them directly with the manager concerned or the provider of the service. However, if you do want to make a formal complaint, let us know as soon as possible, as there is a time limit of 12 months from the date of the matter or incident which is the subject of the complaint - although this can be waived depending on the circumstances.
Details about our complaints process and a copy of our policy can be downloaded here. You will find further information in the next drop down box on the information you will need to make a complaint.
Who can complain?
Anyone who is receiving, or has received, NHS treatment or services and anyone affected by the outcome of actions. If a person is unable to complain themselves then someone can act on their behalf with consent and appropriate supporting documentation. Young persons (under age 18) are entitled to complain independently. The NHS cannot consider a complaint made on behalf of a young person unless they are sure that the young person is unable to complain themselves.
What information will be needed to make my complaint?
- Confirmation of the patient’s registered GP practice, so we may confirm that NHS Frimley is the responsible commissioner
- Your name, address and contact telephone number and those of the person that you may be complaining for; including their date of birth and their NHS number
- A summary of what has happened, giving dates where possible
- Which organisation provided the care or service
- A list of things that you are complaining about
- What you would like to happen as a result of your complaint
What can I expect?
We will contact you and agree the best way forward for investigating your complaint, taking into account your desired outcome. Following receipt of appropriate consent the issues will be fully investigated and you should then receive your response within the agreed timescales. Please do not worry about the service you receive in future being adversely affected because you have made a complaint. We take all comments seriously and only use the information to review our services and make improvements, where needed.
There are two ways people can make a complaint about GP Practices, dentists, opticians or pharmacies:
- They can complain to the healthcare provider: this is the organisation where they received the NHS service, for example a GP practice, a dental practice, a community pharmacy or an optometry practice or
- They can complain to the commissioner of the service: this is the organisation that paid for the service or care they received.
Anyone wanting to make a complaint about the above services to the commissioner, can do so by downloading and completing the form found here.
Members of the public will still be able to make a complaint to the provider. This is NOT changing. There is also no change for people wishing to make a complaint for specialised services, health and justice, screening and immunisations and continuing healthcare.
We can also be contacted at:
South East Complaints Hub
Aldershot Centre for Health
Phone number: 0300 561 0290
Complaints about care provided in the community or in hospital.
Complaints regarding community and hospital care can be investigated and responded to either by the service provider which provided the care, or by NHS Frimley as the responsible commissioner. This is in line with In line with The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009.
Complainants have a right to receive information to enable them to make an informed choice about which organisation they wish to direct their complaint to. Examples of community services include: district nursing, wheelchair clinic, and mental health services.
Patient Advice and Complaints Team (PACT)
If your complaint is about another health service (i.e. NOT GP, pharmacy, optometry or dental) you can talk to the PACT team.
The PACT team will work with you to try to resolve a difficulty or problem. We can discuss with you the best ways to resolve your concerns or problems and will agree with you what action to take for your individual circumstances. We can also signpost to other sources of help if needed. Your personal details remain confidential unless you provide consent for us to share them. Information taken by the PACT is also used anonymously to help improve services. If you have received particularly good service from any health service provider or you have any comments or suggestions to make, please let us know. This information will help us to keep improving our services.
For enquiries, compliments, concerns, formal complaints or general feedback you can contact the PACT by email:
NHS Frimley does not have any access to a patient’s GP, community healthcare or hospital medical records and we not directly employ staff within those services.
This means that all complaints made about a service provider to the commissioner require the involvement of the service provider in the investigation process, and the PACT will need to obtain your explicit consent to share your complaint with them.
In the event that NHS Frimley is asked to lead on a complaint, the service provider will feed back its investigation findings to NHS Frimley, who will then conduct a commissioning review before issuing a formal response.
If you direct your complaint to NHS Frimley it will take longer to obtain a response, although some people are happy to wait if this means there is commissioning oversight.
However, in circumstances where time is critical or the complaint involves complex clinical matters, it is better to send a complaint direct to the service provider.
To help you we have listed the contact details for our main service providers below:
Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Tel: 01372 216202
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (Hampshire Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS))
Tel: 0300 304 2198
Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
- Frimley Park Hospital
Tel: 0300 613 6530
- Heatherwood Hospital
Tel: 0300 615 3365
- Wexham Park Hospital
Tel: 0300 615 3365
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
We will do our best to resolve your complaint. However, if you are not satisfied with the way your complaint has been handled by either NHS Frimley or the service provider, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, which makes final decisions on unresolved complaints about the NHS in England.
The Ombudsman is independent of Government and the NHS, and their service is confidential and free of charge.
Contact details are as follows:
Tel: 0345 015 4033
The Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman