Often people are worried about commenting about their care, particularly if they have not had a good experience, or if they are still having care. However, in the current health care system, there is an increasing emphasis on seeking the views of people using healthcare services and involving them in developing and improving services. Sometimes, relatively small changes in how professionals approach you or your treatment with PGP can really make a significant difference to how you feel in their care and the progress you make.
You will often be asked to fill out questionnaires – do tell them what you think. If it is good, tell them what you would like more of, and if you have a suggestion about how things could be done differently or better, share your idea.
And if you have a specific concern about your care, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You could approach:
You could write a letter to:
It can be challenging to know how to structure a letter – we have drawn up a template which may help.
You can also include one of our ‘Stickmum leaflets’ to spread good practice on PGP even when the feedback you are giving to a healthcare professional is positive. You can find out more information about our campaign and download a Stickmum leaflet here.
There are various organisations that can help you decide whether to complain, for example, about poor care or professional misconduct. If you want a formal outcome (and perhaps compensation), you may wish to take legal advice. Talking it through with an experienced support organisation can help you to:
Much will depend on the particular issues of your complaint.
If you are taking up a complaint on behalf of someone else, you may need to show you have their written permission from them (or you explain why this is not possible e.g. they aren’t well enough).
Contacting the hospital where you received care
Write to the Head of Midwifery or the Head of Therapy Services. Copy in or write directly to, the Chief Executive Officer of the Trust. You will find the details on the Trust website.
Senior people are always keen to hear how their organisation is caring for people using their services, and tend to be approachable and interested, so do let them know what you think, whether good or bad.
Contacting the NHS or NHS England direct
You can give feedback (written or verbal) to your local hospital’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) service. PALS offers confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters. You can find your nearest PALS office on the NHS Choices website link
Contacting NHS England
Contact the Customer Contact Centre.
Telephone: 0300 311 22 33
Post: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
For all patient experience enquiries please contact: ENGLAND.PEAdmin@nhs.net
Healthwatch identifies common problems with health and social care based on people’s experiences and also recommends changes to benefit people using health services. It also holds those services and decision-makers to account. Your local Healthwatch is based on your local authority. Click here to find your local Healthwatch. Healthwatch England has been working with Citizens Advice to provide practical help you can use to make a complaint, including flowcharts, helpful tips and checklists.
Have a look at the Healthwatch website and also Citzens Advice via www.citizensadvice.org.uk/health/nhs-and-social-care-complaints/
Check which organisation covers your particular area. Some of the organisations have helpful information about how to make a complaint on their websites, which anyone can access regardless of where they live.
Voiceability NHS Complaints Advocacy Service – Birmingham, Cambridgeshire, London, Northampton, Peterborough, Suffolk
Tel: 0300 330 5454
Textphone: 0786 002 2939
NHS Complaints Advocacy Service – North Yorkshire
Tel: 0300 012 4212
NHS Complaints Advocacy – Central and East of England, East Midlands, London, Southern England, South West England, West Midlands
Tel: 0300 456 2370
SWAN Advocacy Network – Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset
Swan Advocacy Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy Service
Tel: 0333 344 7926
The Care Forum (Well Aware) – Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Swindon, South West
NHS Complaints Advocacy
Tel: 0808 808 5252