Complaints

 We're sorry if you feel we’ve not done as well as we should. If this is the case, then please let us know and we promise to do everything we can to correct it.

The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service (England) Complaints Regulations (2009) came into force on 1 April 2009. These Regulations introduced a more person-centred and resolution based approach to complaints handling. This means that there is less emphasis on a formal procedure and more focus on working together to achieve a satisfactory and appropriate resolution, in proportion with the nature and complexity of the individual complaint.  The questions and answers below will give you all the information you need to make a complaint.

You can click on the relevant question below it will take you to the relevant answer:

Who can make a complaint?

The NHS Complaints Procedure is for service users, carers and relatives to raise concerns about care and treatment provided by 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.  Carers or relatives may also raise complaints about how they have been treated by Trust staff.  Any other person who has been affected by a decision, act or omission of the Trust may also make a complaint.

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How do I make a complaint?

You can make a complaint in a number of ways, these include:

  • Speaking with a member of staff
  • Contacting our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), you can click here for more information about PALS.
  • Contacting the Complaints Manager, Chris Peake at:

Hollins Park House
Hollins Lane
Winwick
Warrington
WA2 8WA
Tel: 01925 664004
Fax: 01925 664447
Email:
complaints@5bp.nhs.uk
  • Writing to our Chief Executive, Simon Barber
  • Completing the online complaint form by clicking here. - If you are having problems completing this form, please email your complaint to complaints@5bp.nhs.uk
  • Click here to view our leaflet on making a complaint

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When can I make a complaint?

You can make a complaint within 12 months of an incident or event (which is the subject of the complaint) occurring, or within 12 months of the time when you became aware you had reason to complain about the incident or event.  In exceptional circumstances, you may be able to make a complaint outside of the timescales, however, this may depend on your reasons for not complaining sooner, and also whether it is still possible for us to investigate your concerns. If you think this applies to you, please contact the Complaints Team to discuss this further.

Please do not be worried about making a complaint as this will not affect the care and treatment that you, or the person you are complaining on behalf of, will receive from us nor will you be refused services you would otherwise get from us. All complaints will be treated with sensitivity and confidentiality.

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What if I want to make a complaint on behalf of someone else?

If you wish to complain on behalf of someone else, we will need to ask their permission for you to make the complaint on their behalf and for the Trust to share details of their care and treatment with you in order to respond to your complaint.  If you are making a complaint on behalf of a service user who lacks the capacity to make an informed decision regarding information sharing, the following procedure will take place:

  • The Consultant Psychiatrist will be asked to confirm if the service user lacks capacity to make decisions regarding information sharing.
  • The Trust's Caldicott Guardian will then make a decision as to whether it is in the service user's best interests for confidential information to be shared with you in order to respond to your complaint.

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What if my complaint is about more than one organisation?

If your complaint spans the services of another NHS Trust or Social Services Department, as well as 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, the Complaints Team will liaise with the other party (or parties) to consider providing a joint response.  This means that it may be possible to provide you with one response letter which addresses your concerns regarding each NHS Trust or Social Services Department.

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Who can help me?

There are a number of people who can help you with your complaint:

  • Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), you can click here for more information about PALS.
  • Local advocacy services.  Our PALS team will be happy to supply you with details of the local advocacy services available within the Trust’s boundaries.
  • The Department of Health's website also has information on the NHS complaints procedure, you can visit the site at www.dh.gov.uk.
  • The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. They regulate care provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies and voluntary organisations. Their aim is to make sure better care is provided for everyone - in hospitals, care homes and people's own homes. They also seek to protect the interests of people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act. Further information about the Care Quality Commission is available on their website www.cqc.org.uk.  Should you have a concern on the carrying on of a regulated activity you can inform the Care Quality Commission.

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What will happen with my complaint?

Once your complaint is received, a member of staff will contact you within three working days.  You will be involved in agreeing an action plan to address your complaint; this may involve a telephone call, a meeting, an investigation and written response (or a combination of some), where we will agree the best way to progress your concerns, discuss the outcomes you seek and agree a reasonable timescale for responding to you.

You will be also be provided with information about the free advocacy services available to support you during the NHS Complaints Procedure. 

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What about confidentiality?

Everyone in the NHS has a duty to protect confidentiality. Information from health records may have to be shared with other clinical and managerial staff for your complaint to be fully investigated. All information relating to complaints is stored securely and separately from health records.

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What if I am not happy with the response to my complaint?

If you are not satisfied with the response to your complaint, please contact the Complaints Team to see if there is any further action we can take in order to achieve resolution for you. This may involve organising a meeting, undertaking a further investigation or providing a further written response to your outstanding points.

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What is the next stage of the NHS Complaints Procedure?

If you remain dissatisfied following our attempts to resolve your complaint, or if you do not wish to engage in further resolution with us, you have the option to approach the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to ask them to consider your outstanding concerns.

You can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman at:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London
SW1P 4QP


Tel: 0345 015 4033
Fax: 0300 061 4000
Email:
phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk 
 
Further information about the role of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is available from their website:
www.ombudsman.org.uk.

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How does the Trust monitor and learn from complaints?

In order to record and monitor complaints activity, the Complaints Department is required to maintain a database of complaints and to provide regular reports to the Trust Board and other relevant forums.  These reports can highlight themes and trends across the Trust.  If a complaint highlights an area which may be improved, the investigating officer may make recommendations for change.  Such recommendations will then be monitored via the Complaints Team.

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