Complaints Procedures. Listening... Acting... Improving

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1 x147926_nfh164_p2_vw_x147926_nfh164_p2_vw 17/04/ :32 Page 1 Complaints Procedures Listening... Acting... Improving

2 x147926_nfh164_p2_vw_x147926_nfh164_p2_vw 17/04/ :32 Page 2

3 x147926_nfh164_p2_vw_x147926_nfh164_p2_vw 17/04/ :32 Page 3 Introduction Although the staff who look after you will do all they can to make sure that you are treated properly and promptly, things do occasionally go wrong. However, we very much take the view that when there has been cause for complaint, it is important to acknowledge this, to put things right quickly and to learn from the experience. We will investigate your concerns as quickly as possible with those who are directly concerned with your care. This booklet tells you what to do if for any reason, you wish to complain about your care and treatment at any of the hospitals within the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, or Newcastle Hospitals Community Health, and explains the NHS Complaints Procedure, which is now the same for all parts of the NHS as well as for Local Authority Adult Services Departments. The Hospitals and associated services covered by this complaints leaflet are:- The Freeman Hospital The Royal Victoria Infirmary The Newcastle Dental Hospital The Centre for Ageing and Vitality previously Newcastle General Hospital (Cherryburn, Cragside and Wallington Wards, Belsay Unit, Diabetes Centre etc) Northern Genetics Life The Newcastle Fertility Life Newcastle Hospitals Community Health (all Community Services, e.g. District Nursing, Health Visiting, Podiatry, Physiotherapy, etc.) The information contained in this leaflet can be made available in different languages and formats on request. Please contact the Patient Relations Department on

4 x147926_nfh164_p2_vw_x147926_nfh164_p2_vw 17/04/ :32 Page 4 To whom should I initially complain? Front line staff Wherever possible you should talk to someone who is close to the cause of your immediate concern such as the doctor, nurse or receptionist. In many cases the matter will be resolved straight away. Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) You may wish to raise your concerns with someone who is not involved in your care. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) aims to advise and support patients, their families and carers, provide information on NHS services, listen to your concerns, suggestions or queries and help sort out problems quickly on your behalf. This service is confidential, and can be contacted on Freephone: Text: If you are not happy with the outcome following discussion with PALS, they will be able to assist you to make a referral, with your agreement, to the Patient Relations Department who will coordinate the further investigation of your complaint. Information on how to access independent advocacy to support you through the process can also be provided by Independent Complaints (ICA) Service if required. ICAS can be contacted on Freephone , or via Complaining directly to the Trust A Complaint may be made verbally, in writing or electronically. If you wish to enquire as to how to make a complaint or wish to make your complaint verbally then please telephone the Patient Relations Department on or A written 2

5 x147926_nfh164_p2_vw_x147926_nfh164_p2_vw 17/04/ :32 Page 5 record of the details of the complaint will be made and you will be sent a copy of the written record for your agreement prior to an investigation taking place. If you wish to complain in writing, you can write to:- Sir Leonard Fenwick, CBE Chief Executive, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Headquarters, The Freeman Hospital, High Heaton, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE7 7DN To make a complaint electronically please send details in an to It is helpful if you can provide patient details, including full name, date of birth, and a telephone contact number. Who can complain? Anyone who is receiving or has received care in the Newcastle Hospitals, or Newcastle Hospitals Community Health. If the patient wishes, a relative or close friend can complain on their behalf, however the Trust may need the patient s written permission (consent) to provide information to other parties. If the patient has died, or is a child, or is unable to complain themselves because of physical incapacity or lack of capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the complaint may be made by a person acting as a representative. How soon should I make a complaint? It is important to make the complaint as soon as possible after the event. We normally investigate only those complaints that are either: Made not later than 12 months after the event, or:- Made within 12 months of you realising that you have something to complain about. 3

6 x147926_nfh164_p2_vw_x147926_nfh164_p2_vw 17/04/ :32 Page 6 These time limits can be extended at the discretion of the Trust if it is clear the complainant had good reason for not making the complaint within the time limit; and not withstanding the delay, it is still possible to investigate matters effectively and fairly. What Can I expect from the Trust? In the case of written complaints a member of the Complaints Team will seek to contact you within three working days of receipt of your letter. You will be able to tell us if you would prefer a written response, or receive a telephone call from an appropriate member of staff. The discussion will also involve agreeing with you a timescale for the response to your letter of complaint. Following this discussion a letter of acknowledgement will be sent to you. If it is not possible to contact you by telephone then we will write to you to provide an acknowledgement and information on the expected timescale to respond. For verbal complaints, when a member of the Complaints Team is taking full details from you they will also discuss if you would prefer a written response or to receive a telephone call from an appropriate member of staff, and agree a timescale. Following this conversation an acknowledgement letter will be sent to you with a written report of the conversation in order to ensure full and correct details have been taken. You will be asked to sign and return this statement, and the investigation will begin once this is returned to the Patient Relations Department. 4

7 x147926_nfh164_p2_vw_x147926_nfh164_p2_vw 17/04/ :32 Page 7 What can I do if I am not satisfied with the response? If you are unhappy with the initial response to your complaint a member of the complaints team is available to discuss further options with you on or However, if you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of any further attempts at local resolution, you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO) to review your complaint and the Trust response. You should do this within 12 months of your complaint. Please note that the PHSO will only agree to review a complaint if you have already asked the NHS Trust involved to investigate and seek to resolve the problem for you and where this has not been possible. For further details of the PHSO please see Telephone Complaints which involve services provided by more than one organisation All NHS and Local Authority Social Care organisations have a duty to cooperate in the investigation of complaints and provision of a combined response where this is appropriate. There are similar arrangements for complaints involving Independent Contractors who provide NHS services outside of hospital on a contractual basis e.g. GPs, Dentists, Opticians and Pharmacists. In such cases you will be advised which organisation will coordinate the investigation and provide the combined response to your complaint. Your consent will be sought to approach other organisations if not already provided. 5

8 x147926_nfh164_p2_vw_x147926_nfh164_p2_vw 17/04/ :32 Page 8 What type of concerns is the Trust able to investigate? The Trust will respond to any complaint made about the services we provide at our hospitals, outpatient clinics, community clinics, and those provided in the home, as long as we have the patient s consent to do so. We will also respond to any complaint that refers to a decision made by the Trust not to provide a service. However, we may not be able to investigate your complaint if:- Your complaint is solely about care that you have received at a hospital or clinic managed by another Trust. You are an employee of the Trust and the matters raised relate to your contract of employment. Your complaint refers to medical care that you have received privately, not NHS funded. Your complaint is about a matter that has been the subject of a previous complaint and has already been resolved. Your complaint is in respect of an alleged failure to comply with the Freedom of Information Act Your complaint involves events requiring investigation by a professional disciplinary body. 6

9 x147926_nfh164_p2_vw_x147926_nfh164_p2_vw 17/04/ :32 Page 9 Trust contact address and telephone number: Chief Executive Sir Leonard Fenwick, CBE, Chief Executive Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Headquarters: Freeman Hospital, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN Telephone: (0191) Patient Relations Manager Patient Relations Manager Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Headquarters, Freeman Hospital, Complaints Department (Level 1), High Heaton Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN Telephone: (0191) Other useful contact, addresses and telephone numbers: The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP Telephone: Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) Freephone: Independent Complaints Advocacy (ICA) Freephone

10 x147926_nfh164_p2_vw_x147926_nfh164_p2_vw 17/04/ :32 Page 10 NHS England Complaints Manager Nursing & Quality Directorate Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear Area Team NHS England Waterfront 4 Riverside Newburn Newcastle upon Tyne NE15 8NY And finally We want to know when things go wrong so we can quickly put them right for you and can learn from your experience how to improve our services to other people. As an organisation we would wish to encourage patients and their visitors to comment on any aspects of the services they have experienced or anything that would have made their visit to Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust a more pleasant experience (including services we deliver within the Community). To help you comment, we have attached a Take 2 Minutes comment slip in the back of this booklet. Comment slips may be posted to the Patient Experience Team via the internal mailing system. Please ask a member of staff to help you if necessary. Each suggestion will be taken seriously and wherever possible acted upon. Alternatively you can contact us via the Trust s web page where you can any comments, compliments, concerns or complaints to 8

11 x147926_nfh164_p2_vw_x147926_nfh164_p2_vw 17/04/ :32 Page 11 Take 2 minutes... Tell us what you think Please tell us the area that you are commenting on: RVI Campus for Ageing and Vitality Walk-in centre Which centre?... Freeman Dental Hospital Other...(please specify) Was there anything particularly good about your experience with the Trust? Is there anything that you think could be improved? Thank you Please return to Patient Experience Team, Level 1, Freeman Hospital. 9

12 x147926_nfh164_p2_vw_x147926_nfh164_p2_vw 17/04/ :32 Page 12 The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Headquarters, The Freeman Hospital High Heaton Newcastle upon Tyne NE7 7DN Tel: Reviewed March 2015 Next revision March 2018 Potts Print (UK). Apr 2015 NFH/164

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