Complaints and Compliments
Our Trust is committed to providing good quality services and high standards of care, however we are aware that sometimes things can go wrong. In these circumstances we will do everything possible to try to put things right, and ensure that the same thing does not happen again.
As part of our process of working towards continuous improvement and ensuring high standards of care, we would like to hear about your experience of our services – whether your views are good or bad.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service we have provided, please let us know. Your comments can help us put things right for you, and also stop similar problems from happening in the future.
We would also like to hear from you if you have had a good experience; our staff appreciate getting thank-you letters and e-mails. They also share information and work together to implement good ideas within the Trust.
Raising your concerns:
At the time:
If your concerns relate to any aspect of your or your loved one’s care while you or they are staying in hospital or attending an outpatient clinic, you or they should speak to a member of the ward or clinic staff as soon as possible.
If you or they do not feel able to speak directly to staff, then contact our Patient Advice and Liaison team (PALS) team on 0121 507 5836 or email us here.
Complaints Team :
In certain circumstances, you may wish to make a formal complaint by contacting our Complaints Department. This route is best for people who:
- Would like their concerns raised on a formal level
- Have raised issues with local managers but do not feel the points have been resolved to their satisfaction
- Wish to receive a written, detailed response to the issues they have raised
Making a formal complaint is a two-stage process.
Stage one – local resolution:
The Trust has a dedicated Complaints Manager who leads the Complaints team who deal with formal complaints.
If your complaint is complex or detailed, please provide as much information as possible about what happened including where and when so that we can be sure that we understand all of your concerns. If your complaint concerns a loved one, we may need to obtain their permission to discuss their care with you.
It is always better to make your complaint at the time or as soon as possible after the incident occurred or when you first became aware something was not right. Your complaint should be made within 12 months of the incident. This time limit can be discussed but it is there to ensure that long periods of time have not elapsed as this could prevent a full investigation taking place.
If it is appropriate, and you agree, we can arrange for you to meet and discuss your concerns with the medical and nursing staff who have been involved with your or your loved one’s care (this can often help to resolve a complaint quickly).
The Chief Executive sees every formal complaint made and every response given. If you are dissatisfied with the response you receive, the Complaints team will be pleased to discuss the further options with you.
If all options to resolve the complaint locally have been exhausted, you can request that the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) undertakes an independent review of your complaint.
To make a formal complaint contact either:
Opening times: Monday – Friday, 8.30 – 16.30
Tel: 0121 507 6428 and 0121 507 6098
E-mail: click here to send your complaint securely over email
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
Stage two – Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO):
The PHSO provides a service to the public by undertaking independent investigations into complaints that the NHS has not acted properly fairly or has provided a poor service. On conclusion of stage one, we provide details about referring your concerns to the PHSO. In most cases, the PHSO will not investigate a complaint unless it has already been made to the Trust and all options for resolution have been explored. The PHSO has medical and nursing advisors who provide expert clinical opinion and will assist them in making any recommendations to the Trust in the event that they decide to take up your case.
The PHSO’s contact details are:
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)
Tel: 0345 015 4033
Fax: 0300 061 4000
Seeking independent help and advice :
Independent Complaints Advocacy Service :
If you would like help and advice on how to make a formal complaint about the service you have received at any local NHS hospital, you may wish to contact the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) on 0845 120 3748. Their service is free and their advocates do not work for the NHS. ICAS can help you write your complaint and will attend meetings at the hospital with you.
Care Quality Commission :
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator for all health and social care services in England. The CQC cannot investigate individual complaints but can be contacted directly for information and advice, and to share feedback and experiences with them about health and social care services.
The CQC can be contacted via the contact details below, but also online via the following link on its website at http://www.cqc.org.uk/contactus.cfm
CQC National Correspondence
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel: 03000 616161
Fax: 03000 616171
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8.30 – 17.30