Comments and complaints

Comments

If you have had a good experience of local health services, particularly those we commission or oversee, then we would love to hear from you.

Positive feedback is welcomed and helps us to understand what is important for you as a patient, carer or relative. Your feedback is valuable and we are grateful for you taking the time.

You can find our contact details at the bottom of this page or on our contact page. We will ensure your views are shared with those involved in your experience.

Complaints

If you are not happy with the way you have been treated by the NHS, you have the right to make a complaint, have it considered and receive a response from the organisation concerned.

We welcome your concerns and complaints to ensure local health services are providing the best possible service and where they are not, to work with the providers to ensure improvements are made.

Who can complain? 

You can make a complaint if you have been, or are likely to be, affected by the actions of any part of the NHS. You can also complain on behalf of someone else if you can show you have their consent or legal authority such as power of attorney.

What is the time limit for making a complaint?

Your complaint should be raised within 12 months of the date of an incident or when you become aware of the issue. This timescale can be extended in exceptional cases, such as in situations where it would have been difficult for you to complain, for example when you were grieving or undergoing trauma.

Listening to you to help us learn and improve 

We view all feedback, both positive and negative, as an opportunity to learn and improve local health services.

Where there has been a mistake or where systems need to be changed or improved, we will acknowledge this and let you know what action will be taken.

The NHS complaints procedure and how to complain

You may ask either the provider of the service or the commissioner of the service to investigate your complaint.  Please note, if a complaint has already been investigated by an organisation, another organisation cannot investigate it.

If you are not happy with the outcome of your investigation then you may return to the organisation to re-investigate your complaint, or you may approach the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to independently review your complaint.

Complaining to the service provider

You may complain to the manager of the service concerned, or to the complaints team at the organisation providing the service, for example: in hospital it would be the PALS service.

Complaining to the service commissioner

Complaints about primary care services (e.g. GPs, dentists, pharmacists, and opticians) are managed by NHS England. Their contact details are:

Email: england.contactus@nhs.net

Telephone: 0300 311 2233

Post: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT

Complaints about all other commissioned services (Continuing Healthcare, Individual Funding Requests, Medicines Management and other commissioned NHS services) may be handled by your local Clinical Commissioning Group.

We have a Sussex-wide complaints team who will be happy to discuss your complaint with you, if you are not sure who to contact. If you have any questions about this process, or would like further information, please contact: sxccg.complaints@nhs.net

Please could you ensure you have included your:

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Date of Birth
  • GP Practice

We would also request that you confirm that you are happy for us to forward your concern to the service that you are complaining about (if appropriate).

Can I get support to make a complaint?

You can receive free and independent help from a complaints advocacy service.

You can also make a verbal complaint and talk to a member of our team on the telephone to discuss how best to take your concerns forward.

What happens when I have made a complaint?

If your concern cannot be resolved within 24 hours, you will receive an acknowledgement either written or by telephone and your issues will be fully investigated.

We aim to get back to you with the result of our investigation within the timescales set out in our Complaints policy and we will let you know if there is likely to be a delay. We are always happy to discuss your concerns after you have received your response; it is important to us that you feel we have done all we can to resolve the concern and respond to you.

What if I am not happy with the response?

The second phase of the NHS Complaints process is that if you are still unhappy, you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to review your complaint.

The Ombudsman’s number is 0345 015 4033 or you can complete an online form on their website.

Further information on the NHS complaints procedure is available on the NHS website or the Ombudsman website.