During the coronavirus outbreak
All new complaints will continue to be logged and any that raise concerns about patient safety will be investigated immediately.
In normal circumstances, the Patient Safety and Investigation Team would respond to your complaint within 25-60 working days from date of receipt. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the Trust is following guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvement. While the Trust is endeavouring to respond to these timescales, unfortunately there may be a delay. For more details about how to complain to the NHS please follow the link here.
How to make a complaint
If you are not happy with the care, service or treatment you have received from the National Health Service (NHS), it is important that you tell the people responsible, as they can only put things right if you let them know what is wrong. Complaints can often help us improve the services we give to future service users. You will not be treated any differently because you have made a complaint. Any record of your complaint is kept separately from your medical record.
Who can complain?
- Current or past patients of the Trust.
- Representatives of patients (e.g. relatives, friends and carers) acting with their consent
- Representatives acting on behalf of deceased patients.
What a complaint can and cannot do.
The Health and social Care Complaints Procedure can only deal with certain matters, it is therefore important to think about what you want to achieve before making a complaint.
Under the Health and Social Care Complaints Procedure, organisations can:
- Undertake a thorough investigation and offer an explanation for what happened.
- Offer an apology.
- Improve future services.
- Take action to put matters right.
Under the Health and Social Care Complaints Procedure, organisation cannot:
- Offer you financial compensation, but sometimes small one-off payments may be made, such as for lost property.
- Discipline staff.
- ‘Strike off’ a doctor or other health professional.
- Look at complaints about private treatment.
When can I complain?
- You should make your complaint as soon as possible after the event.
- A complaint should be made within 12 months of the event, or within 12 months of realising that you have cause for complaint.
How do I complain?
- You should always try in the first instance to let the member of staff delivering the service or their manager know that you are unhappy, so they can put things right at the time whenever possible.
- However, we understand that you may not always feel comfortable doing this therefore, you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), who can support you by contacting the service on your behalf. PALS can be contacted on telephone number 0800 015 4334 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found on our Raise a concern page.
- You can contact an Advocate (details of how to contact Advocacy Services are detailed below) who offer a free, professional support service to those wishing to pursue a formal complaint about the National Health Service (NHS).
- If you are still unhappy you can make a formal complaint in writing, you do not need to write a very long and detailed letter, but you should include all the points you want to complain about. If you are unable to put your complaint in writing, you can contact the Patient Safety and Investigation Team, and speak with the duty Lead Investigator, who will listen to your concern, and will make a typed account of your complaint. This will be sent to you to check for accuracy and to sign. (See contact details below).
Information to include in your complaint
- Who or what you are complaining about.
- Where and when the events you are complaining about happened.
- What you have already done about your complaint, if anything.
- What you hope the outcome of your complaint will be.
How long will it take?
- We will contact you within three working days of receiving your complaint. You will receive a formal acknowledgement letter from the Chief Executive.
- We expect most complaints to be responded to in writing from the Chief Executive within 25-60 working days, from receiving the complaint.
What if I’m not satisfied with my response letter?
- If you are not happy with how your complaint has been handled or the response provided, please let us know.
- We will always try to find ways to resolve your concerns within the Trust. However, if we have tried all reasonable means of resolving your concerns and you are still dissatisfied you can request a review by the Ombudsman (contact details below).
Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
Telephone: 0800 015 4334
Patient Safety and Investigation Team:
Telephone: 07967793306 during normal office hours, Monday to Friday (excluding public bank holidays)
In writing to the following address:
Chief Executive or Patient Safety and Investigation Team
Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust
Tickhill Road Site
The Trust has a Complaints leaflet called ‘Your Right to Complain‘.
Advocacy Services offers a free, professional support service to those wishing to pursue a formal complaint about the National Health Service (NHS).
Doncaster – Voicability
Telephone: 0808 164 6125
Rotherham – Cloverleaf Advocacy
Telephone: 01924 454875
North Lincolnshire – Cloverleaf Advocacy
Telephone: 01724 854925
Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman:
If, following investigation by the Trust, you are not satisfied with the response to your complaint, you have the right to take the matter up with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This Ombudsman investigates complaints about the NHS. However, before they look into your complaint, they will usually expect you to have completed the NHS complaints procedure, unless they decide that, in your particular circumstances, it would be unreasonable for you to do so. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is independent of the NHS and the Government, and there is no charge for this service.
Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman