Making a complaint enables NHS organisations to learn from mistakes, and can help to improve the quality of service other people receive.
How can I make a complaint?
You can make a complaint in writing, by email, over the telephone or in person. Your complaint should be made as soon as possible (and should ideally be within a year of the event.) You can make a complaint on your own or on behalf of someone else if you have their permission.
Who should I contact with my complaint?
For complaints about the service received from a GP, dentist, pharmacist or optometrist:
Contact the service directly or the NHS England Customer Contact Centre on:
Tel: 0300 311 22 33 (this is charged as a local rate call)
Address: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
For complaints about the service received from any other NHS service (e.g. hospitals, mental health services and community services):
You should send this to the organisation directly. They will have an NHS-approved complaints policy which they follow. If you would like us to be aware of your complaint, please send a copy to us (contact details below). We will include this in our patient experience feedback reports, however the responsibility for investigating the issues remains with the service complained about.
NHS services commissioned for the people of Waltham Forest
If you have a complaint relating to the way an NHS service has been commissioned, or you have been directly affected by a commissioning decision made by us, please contact the North and East London Commissioning Support Unit (NELCSU) Patient Experience and Effectiveness Team, a team that manages the complaints process on our behalf.
The team can be contacted on:
Patient Experience and Effectiveness Team
NEL Commissioning Support Unit
5th floor Clifton House
75-77 Worship Street
Telephone: 020 3688 1666
NELCSU will retain personal information for the purpose of this complaint investigation only. In order for us to make improvements to the services you receive, anonymous information about your complaint may be shared as part of our reporting process. Should you have any concerns with regard to this arrangement please contact the CCG via the contact details on our site. Information on how to make a complaint can be made available in other languages, on audio cassette or CD, in large print, Braille and in illustrated format. Interpreters can also be arranged, including sign interpreters.
Can I get help and support with making my complaint?
Yes. An organisation called Citizens Advice can provide you with support and advocacy. You can contact them by phone on 0300 330 1175 or for email advice, please visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/waltham-forest/
You may also find a solution to your problem by visiting the following website which has information about health complaints: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/healthcare/nhs-and-social-care-complaints/
What will happen once I make my complaint?
Complaints are dealt with in a manner that is proportional to the issues raised. Your complaint will be investigated and the NHS organisation responsible will aim to resolve the concerns and, where needed, will take action to prevent the incident from happening again.
Will my complaint remain confidential?
Your right to confidentiality will be respected throughout the investigation. However, there may be times when we need to share information without your consent, for example to protect children and vulnerable adults.
What if I am still not satisfied?
If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint you should contact the service directly to see if they can look into the case further. You also have the right to take your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman. There are time limits for taking a complaint to the Ombudsman, although the Ombudsman can waive them if it is perceived that there is good reason to do so. You can contact their helpline on 0345 015 4033 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information is also available on the Ombudsman website. You can write to the Ombudsman at: The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP.