Complaints

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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As you know, the NHS is facing significant challenges due to coronavirus. NHS staff are working hard to maintain high quality care in hospitals, GP surgeries and other services. All NHS staff are focusing on patient care and supporting front line staff to deal with this emergency.

This will mean that there will be delays to responding to your complaint. This is because we need clinical and other staff to review your complaint and contribute to the investigation and they are currently supporting the NHS to respond to this virus.

We will try to respond to as many complaints as we can where we receive the clinical input required.

As NHS services respond to the impact of Coronavirus, some of them may not be able to take calls regarding your complaint but you can contact them via email.

Further information can be found on the NHS England’s website.

Who should I contact with my complaint?

  • For complaints about Whipps Cross Hospital or a Barts Health NHS Trust Service:
    Details on how to make a complaint about Whipps Cross Hospital or any Barts Health service can be found on the Barts Health website. https://bartshealth.nhs.uk/complaints.

  • For complaints in relation to (NELFT) North East London Foundation Trust (This includes phlebotomy services within the borough):
    NELFT’s complaints leaflet can be downloaded from their website here.

  • 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)
    Email: england.contactus@nhs.net
    Address: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
    Website: www.england.nhs.uk

  • NHS Waltham Forest CCG and the services it commissions

    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 Patient Experience Team at North and East London Commissioning Alliance (NELCA). They can be contacted on 020 3688 1666 or by email:  ELHCP.complaints@nhs.net 

    * NELCA - North East London Commissioning Alliance covers the following CCGs:    City and Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge CCGs

    WF CCG will retain personal information for the purpose of the complaint investigation only. In order for us to make improvements to the services you receive, anonymous information about your complaint will be shared as part of our reporting process. Should you have any concerns with regard to this arrangement please make contact with us via the details listed above. Information on how to make a complaint can be made available in other languages and interpreters can also be arranged, including sign interpreters.

Can I get help and support with making my complaint?

Yes. An organisation called Your Voice in Health and Social Care (YVHSC) can provide you with support and advocacy. You can contact them by phone on 020 3078 9990 or 07943862742 or via email Sandra.ifield@healthwatchwalthamforest.co.uk.  Details on the advocacy service can be found on the Healthwatch Waltham Forest website https://www.healthwatchwalthamforest.co.uk/

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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As you know, the NHS is facing significant challenges due to coronavirus. NHS staff are working hard to maintain high quality care in hospitals, GP surgeries and other services. All NHS staff are focusing on patient care and supporting front line staff to deal with this emergency.

This will mean that there will be delays to responding to your complaint. This is because we need clinical and other staff to review your complaint and contribute to the investigation and they are currently supporting the NHS to respond to this virus.

You may also find this link to NHS England’s website helpful.

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.

If you’re not happy with how we’ve dealt with your complaint, you are entitled to raise your complaint with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.  However, please note that the Ombudsman is currently not accepting any new complaints about the National Health Service because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  This is to help ensure the NHS can focus its resources on providing urgent healthcare. You can find out more information on the Ombudsman’s website www.ombudsman.org.uk

Please download the easy read PHSO privacy policy here.