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.
Useful Download: Complaints Leaflet (1.86MB)
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.
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 under the formal Complaint Procedure. The Patient Services Manager will agree a timescale with you for responding to your complaint. This will depend on the complexity and severity of your complaint. If there is any delay, you should be kept informed of progress.
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 receive, you may wish to take your complaint further and you will be advised of the options available. Additionally further advice and support can be obtained from the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) if you live in England or from Montgomery CHC (Community Health Council) if you are a Welsh patient.
If you remain dissatisfied you may refer your complaint to the Health Service 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.
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 ICAS or Montgomery CHC.
What the CHC / ICAS can do
If you would like more advice or help to make a complaint, you can contact ICAS (if you live in England) or Montgomery CHC (if you live in Wales) which is there to:
- Explain the procedures to you in detail and tell you what your options are.
- Help to make sure that your complaint is put to the correct authority and investigated properly.
- Help you to write, or write for you, any letter that may be needed.
- Accompany you to any meeting relating to the investigation of your complaint if you wish.
ICAS for Shropshire and Montgomery CHC for Welsh patients will represent your interests in dealing with the health service and offer you any help you may need free of charge.
You can contact ICAS on 0300 456 2370
The Chief Officer
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The Complaint Procedure for The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust is administered by the Patient Services Manager and can be contacted on 01743-261652.