Making a complaint? A guide for service users and carers. Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

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1 Making a complaint? A guide for service users and carers Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust

2 Welcome At Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) we aim to give you the best possible service at all times and to learn from your experiences. We hope you have a positive experience with us but we understand that now and then there may be things that do not meet your expectations. If you have concerns about any aspect of our service, please tell us. This leaflet explains how to make a complaint about the services you, or the person you care for, receives. We take our responsibilities seriously and promise that our service users, relatives and carers are not treated unfairly as a result of making a complaint. Raising concerns Do you have any concerns about the service that you, or the people you care for, have received? Want to make a complaint or suggestion about any aspect of our service? We recommend you speak to a member of staff in the first instance. You can also contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) for help and advice. If you need an interpreter, one can be provided for you. Ask your local PALS Linkworker or a member of staff. Making a formal complaint If staff have been unable to resolve your concerns and you want to make a formal or serious complaint you can write to the Chief Executive or the Complaints Manager at: CNWL Trust Headquarters, Greater London House Hampstead Road, London NW1 7QY. You can also telephone the Complaints Office on or or Your letters and s should include We hope you have a positive experience with us Your full name and address Your daytime telephone number (so we can speak with you if we need to) and times you would prefer us to contact you A summary of your complaint The date the incident occurred Details of what you would like us to do to put things right. 1 2

3 Who can make a complaint? Complaints can be made by anyone who is affected or likely to be affected by the services we provide. If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we may, for patient confidentiality reasons, seek their consent to reply to you. Time limits for making a complaint We encourage you to make your complaint as soon as possible or within 12 months of the incident, if possible. This time limit can be extended if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier. What we will do after receiving your complaint We will send you a written acknowledgement within 3 working days of receiving your complaint. We will nominate an appropriate member of staff to carry out an investigation. He or she will contact you and discuss what happened and what outcomes you are looking for. A Complaint Plan will be agreed with you. This will include how the complaint will be considered, and may include a local resolution meeting, as well as a timeframe for the completion of the investigation. The agreed Plan will then be carried out. At the end of the process you will receive a final response letter confirming the action taken to resolve your complaint. You will also be informed of the next step if you remain dissatisfied. What to do if you are still not happy If you are unhappy with the findings of the investigation you can request a Management Review. This will be carried out by a member of staff unconnected with the initial investigation or the service that the complaint concerns. Independent Review If you are still unhappy when you receive the Trust s final response or you feel that we have failed to deal with your complaint effectively, you have the right to ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to review your complaint. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Millbank Tower, London SW1P 4QP. Phone: (Monday - Friday, 8.30 am pm) Website: The Ombudsman undertakes independent investigations into complaints about the NHS in England. The Ombudsman generally only considers a complaint once it has completed the Trust s complaints procedure and received a final response letter. It is therefore important to allow the Trust to try to resolve your complaint. You can request a Management Review if you are still unhappy 3 4

4 Keeping your complaint confidential To fully investigate your complaint, information from your health records may have to be shared with clinical and managerial staff, however patient confidentiality will be respected at all times. If you decide to make a complaint, this will not be recorded in your medical notes, unless there is a good reason to do so. Details of your complaint may be given (anonymously) to the local commissioner of health services. Formal complaints about health and social services functions In some of the areas we cover, we provide health and social services in partnership with the Local Authority. This means that some staff will carry out both health and social services roles and responsibilities when assessing, arranging or providing services for you. You can raise your complaint either with us or the Local Authority. We will liaise with each other, with your consent, and decide how best to handle your complaint. Legal action and claims for compensation If you have intentions to take legal actions against us, we will continue to take steps to resolve your complaint unless there are clear legal reasons not to do so. If you wish to claim compensation for poor medical care or treatment (including negligence), we advise you to seek legal advice. If you need help The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) can give you advice about using the NHS complaints system. Staff at ICAS can also support you in making a complaint by writing letters on your behalf and going with you to meetings. You can contact them at: Phone: Fax: Advocates Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea: Advocate for Mental Health 73 St Charles Square London W10 6EJ Phone: afmh.org.uk Brent and Harrow: Loud & Clear Mental Health Advocacy Wembley Point 1 Harrow Road Wembley Middlesex HA9 6DE Phone: loudandclear.org Hillingdon: St Mungos Independent Advocacy Service C/o The Riverside Centre Pield Heath Road Uxbridge UB8 3NN Phone: stmungos.org Care Quality Commission If you are detained under the Mental Health Act you can also complain to the: Care Quality Commission The Belgrave Centre Stanley Place, Talbot Street Nottingham NG1 5GG Phone:

5 If you would like information in another language or format, please ask us. Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust Greater London House, Hampstead Road, London, NW1 7QY CNWL Complaints Leaflet, October 2010.

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