Concerns and Complaints 

Last updated October 2014 

This section of our website lets you know how to raise concerns or make a complaint.

The NHS is your Health Service. All of the people who work in the NHS are there to provide you with a service. Your feedback is always welcome and can often help to improve services in the future.

How can I raise concerns?

Even when we try our best, things can go wrong. When this happens, it is important that any concerns are taken seriously and appropriate action taken.

If you do have a problem, please do try to bring it to the attention of a member of staff straight away. Misunderstandings do happen and the people concerned will normally want an opportunity to put things right.

It may help to take a few minutes to think about what you want to say when you raise your concern. Writing down a few notes can also be helpful. If you wish to talk through the situation in confidence, please ask to go to a more private place to discuss it.

You can also raise concerns on behalf of someone else if they wish you to and are unable to do so themselves. 

If you do not feel comfortable raising the issue with the ward or department yourself then our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is here to help you.

You can download the PALS information leaflet by clicking here (for an easy-read version of the leaflet please click here).

If my concerns have not been addressed, how can I make a complaint?

We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly at the time they arise and with the person concerned. If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a formal complaint, it should be made in writing to the Chief Executive within 12 months of the incident that caused the problem.

You can complain on behalf of someone else if they wish you to and are unable to do so themselves. It may be necessary for the person you are representing to sign a form of authority once the complaint is submitted.

What happens next?

If you have put your complaint in writing to the Chief Executive, it will be acknowledged in writing within 3 working days of receipt. Your complaint will then be investigated. If there is any delay, you should be kept informed.

When we investigate your complaint we will aim to:
  • Find out what happened and what went wrong.
  • Make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned it you would like to do so.
  • Make sure you receive an apology where this is appropriate.
  • Identify what we can do to make sure the problem does not happen again.

The Chief Executive will write to you with the findings of his formal investigation into your concerns.

If you are not satisfied with the reply you may refer your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman. 

The Ombudsman

The Ombudsman is an independent person who reports to Parliament. He or she will look into complaints made about NHS staff and services if you are not happy about the way in which your complaint was dealt with or the response you received. However, you will have to have completed the other procedures before the Ombudsman will accept your complaint. You will need to send all of your paperwork or copies of it to the Ombudsman. It is then up to him / her to decide whether or not they will investigate your concerns. Again, further advice and information on this will be given at the time of request.

Professional misconduct

If you complaint involves a serious allegation of professional misconduct, your complaint may be referred to the appropriate national ruling professional body. Independent advice on this can be sought from the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service if you live in England or your local Community Health Council (CHC) if you live in Wales.

For further information, download a copy of our complaints leaflet by clicking here.

What the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service or CHC can do

If you would like more advice or help to make a complaint, you can contact the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service if you live in England or your Community Health Council (CHC) if you live in Wales. These bodies will represent your interests in dealing with the health service and their support is free of charge. Their support may include:

  • Explaining the procedures to you in detail and telling you what your options are.
  • Helping to make sure that your complaint is put to the correct authority and investigated properly.
  • Helping you to write, or writing for you, any letter that may be needed.
  • Accompanying you to any meeting relating to the investigation of your complaint if you wish.

NHS Complaints Advocacy Service

If you live in Shropshire or Telford & Wrekin then your NHS Complaints Advocacy Service is provided by an organisation called POhWER.

You can contact POhWER NHS Complaints Advocacy Service:

  • In writing: NHS Complaints Advocacy Service POhWER PO BOX 14043 Birmingham B6 9BL
  • By telephone: 0300 456 2370
  • By fax: 0300 456 2365
  • Using Minicom: 0300 456 2364
  • By Email: pohwer@pohwer.net

More information is available from the POhWER NHS Complaints Advocacy website

Community Health Councils

If you live in Montgomeryshire then your Community Health Council (CHC) is Montgomery CHC.

You can contact Montgomery CHC 

  • In writing: The Chief Officer, Montgomery CHC, Ladywell House, Newtown, Powys
    SY16 1JB
  • By telephone: 01686 621052

More information is available from the Montgomery CHC website.

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