St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Compliments, Complaints and Suggestions

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1 St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Compliments, Complaints and Suggestions

2 Contents Compliments Page 4 Complaints Page 5 Suggestions Page 5 Making a complaint Page 6 How do I make a formal complaint? Page 7 What information will I need to include? Page 8 When should I complain? Page 9 What happens after making a complaint? Page 9 The Mental Health Act Page 10 Where can I find independent support? Page 10 What about confidentiality? Page 11 Freedom of Information Act Page 11 Introduction As one of the country s largest teaching trusts, we have a highly skilled team who offer specialist treatment at our two hospitals; Whiston Hospital and St Helens Hospital. As a Trust our aim is to provide a high quality service to all our patients. We strive to meet the best standards for professional care whilst being sensitive and responsive to the needs of individual patients. Your treatment, safety and comfort are of paramount importance to us, and we will do all we can to make your stay as pleasant as possible. 3

3 Compliments We are always delighted to hear from patients, family members and visitors who have been satisfied with our service. These messages are an encouragement to all groups of staff who contribute to the care of our patients. How to share a compliment Many patients share their compliments with us by means of a card or letter, but you can also provide feedback via our website: and click on the Contact Us page. Complaints We hope your experience of the Trust is a positive one but with thousands of patients through our doors every year, we recognise that we do not always get it right. If you have concerns about any aspect of your treatment or care, no matter how small, we want to know about it. How to raise a complaint It is always best to raise any concerns or queries as soon as possible, so speak to a member of staff, your health professional, or ward manager in the first instance. They may be able to resolve your problem, or give you the information that you need. If you prefer to speak to someone else or would like to take your complaint further, relevant information is provided later in this leaflet. Suggestions If you have an idea or suggestion that you feel could further improve our services we would like to hear from you. How to make a suggestion Please complete a comments and suggestion form available in our wards and departments and post it, free of charge, in the dedicated post boxes situated across our hospitals. You do not have to give us your name and address, but if you do, we will acknowledge receipt of your form. 4 5

4 Making a complaint The first person to discuss your concern with should be a ward or department manager. They will endeavour to resolve your concern as soon as possible. If you would prefer to speak to someone else, you can contact the Trust s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). Telephone: Our PALS team is available between 8.00am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday. If the team is unavailable during this time, you can leave a message on the answerphone and they will call you back at the earliest opportunity. Alternatively, you can contact our complaints team directly by Please note if your complaint requires an IMMEDIATE response, please contact the hospital duty manager via a member of staff or through the hospital switchboard on How do I make a formal complaint? Putting your concerns in writing means the Trust will treat it as a formal complaint and will acknowledge your correspondence within three working days of receiving it. An investigation will then be carried out and you will be informed of the progress. To make a formal complaint write to: Ann Marr, Chief Executive, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Whiston Hospital, Warrington Road, Prescot, Merseyside, L35 5DR. or complete a form on our website: 6 7

5 What information will I need to include? In order for us to investigate your complaint you will need to give us: an outline of the complaint- please include as many details as possible e.g. dates, times, places and names the patient s full name and address, date of birth, hospital number / NHS number (if known), telephone number and/or address If you are complaining on behalf of someone else we will need all the details listed above. Please also tell us: what your relationship to the patient is, we will need their signed authorisation to respond to you. We need this to maintain patient confidentiality, even with close relatives. any thoughts you may have about reaching a satisfactory resolution When should I complain? You should complain as soon as possible after you notice a problem. The NHS only investigate complaints made under the NHS Complaints Regulations: within twelve months of the event happening, or within twelve months of you realising you need to complain - ideally this should not be more than one year from the event happening. These time limits however can be waived if there are good reasons why you could not make the complaint sooner What happens after making a formal complaint? The Trust aims to resolve complaints as quickly as possible and issue a response within a maximum of 25 working days, unless an extended timescale is agreed. If any agreed timescales are unable to be met due to exceptional circumstances, we will provide you with a progress report and agree an extended timescale. When the investigation is complete we will write to you explaining any actions taken. You are welcome to come and discuss your concerns with the investigating manager at any stage of the complaints process. 8 9

6 What happens if I am detained under the Mental Health Act? Patients who are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 have the same rights as other NHS patients to complain about their treatment and care. The Care Quality Commission can provide advice and assistance to those who require additional help making a complaint against a health service. You can contact: CQC National Customer Services Centre, Citygate, Gallowgate, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, NE1 4PA Telephone: Where can I find independent support? If you would like independent help and support to make a complaint, you can contact: Healthwatch Independent Complaints Advocacy (HWICA), The Gateway Conference Centre, 71 London Road, Liverpool, L3 8HY Telephone: healthwatchadvocacy.co.uk What about confidentiality? Everyone in the NHS has a duty to protect confidentiality. All information relating to your complaints is stored securely and separately from your health records. However, information from your health records may have to be shared with clinical and managerial staff investigating your complaint. Freedom of Information Act The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act is a law that gives people the general right to see recorded information held by public authorities. If you have submitted an FOI request and are unhappy with the response you have been given, you have the right to complain under the Trust s formal complaints procedure. Information on your rights under the Freedom of Information Act is available at or The Trust encourages everyone to speak openly and honestly about their concerns. We would like to reassure you that you will not be discriminated against for making a complaint against the organisation

7 St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust Compliments, Complaints and Suggestions Whiston Hospital Warrington Road, Prescot Merseyside L35 5DR St Helens Hospital Marshalls Cross Road St Helens Merseyside WA9 3DA Telephone: This leaflet can also be provided in Braille, audiocassette, large print and other languages upon request. Please contact Patient Advice and Liaison Service Telephone:

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