Making a complaint

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Due to government advice surrounding Coronavirus and social distancing, regrettably we are no longer able to provide a walk in PALS service.

We still want to help you with you queries or concerns.  Please contact the PALS team on 01227 783145 or email us at ekh-tr.pals@nhs.net and we will help you as quickly as possible.

We apologise for any inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation.

We are committed to improving services by listening to patients, their families and carers.

Our aim is to offer a compassionate and efficient service to all our patients and visitors and if we have let you down, we are truly sorry. 

Please let us know what has gone wrong so that we might try to put it right or to explain what happened and why. You have our absolute assurance that we will not penalise you (or the patient) in any way or treat you differently as a result of a complaint being made. Feedback helps us to improve our services leading to positive experiences for our patients and their relatives or carers.

There are several ways that you can make a complaint:

  • Speak to a person in charge of the ward or clinic: often the best way of getting your problem sorted out is to ask to speak to the person in charge of the ward or clinic. The member of staff can often do something straight away, which avoids you (or the patient) becoming more anxious or distressed
  • Ask for help through PALS: if you would rather ask for help from someone else, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), will do their best to help you.  If they cannot resolve your problem, then they will be able to give you clear, friendly advice as to what your next steps should be.  There is a PALS office on all three main hospital sites; ask for directions, or

How to contact PALS:

PALS is available from 9:00am to 4:00pm on 01227 783145, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). If you get the answer phone, please leave a message, including your name and your telephone number and we will get back to you within one working day. You can also leave a message if you prefer to telephone out of office hours.

Watch this video by the Parliamentary and health service Ombudsman which uses BSL to give you tips on making a complaint to the NHS in England, including where to get advice and support.

A complaint may be made by a patient, or by someone acting on behalf of the patient or person, with their consent. It is important to remember that when someone is making a complaint on behalf of a patient, the Trust cannot respond to the concern without the patient’s consent.

Normally, complaints should be made within six months of the event concerned, or within six months of the complainant becoming aware of the matter which is the subject of the complaint. Once we receive your letter, a member of the Patient Experience Team will contact you and advise you of the best way to take your complaint forward to find a resolution.

Trust staff are committed to resolving issues that are raised locally, and listening to people’s concerns so we can make changes in practice where necessary. 

If you're not happy with our final response to your complaint and would like to take the matter further, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman makes final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS, government departments and some other public organisations. The service is free for everyone. To take a complaint to the Ombudsman, go to www.ombudsman.org.uk/making-complaint or call 0345 015 4033. It is important that you make the complaint as soon as you receive our final response, as there are time limits for the Ombudsman to look into complaints. 

The Advocacy People (previously SEAP) can help if you feel you have not had the service you expect from the National Health Service (NHS) and want to complain but you are unsure about how to do so, or need someone to you support you through the process. The independent health complaints advocacy service they provide is free and confidential.  The Advocacy People can help you make a complaint about any aspect of your NHS care or treatment.

The Advocacy People
PO Box 375
East Sussex
TN34 9HU

Tel: 0330 440 9000
Text: 80800 using keyword PEOPLE followed by your message