How do I Make a Complaint?
Stage 1: Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
The PALS Team will listen to your concerns or complaints and advise how they will be able to help. The team provides information and “on-the-spot-help” to service users and carers. PALS will work to resolve any concerns promptly and will take measures to ensure that, where appropriate, policies and working practices are amended so that the issues do not arise again.
All concerns are important to us and treated in a confidential manner, ensuring that your concern does not affect your current or future treatment.
By listening to and acting on service users' and carers' comments, the aim of PALS is to be influential in improving standards of care.
You can also contact PALS if you wish to let us know if you are satisfied with our services.
How to contact PALS to make a suggestion, comment or compliment, or to raise a concern or complaint
FREEPHONE 08007832865. If we are unable to take your call please leave a message include your name, contact details and brief details of your concern.
SMS 01785783023 include your name, contact details and brief details of your concern.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org include your name, contact details and brief details of your concern.
The PALS team will be returning calls between 9.30am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).
We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 1 working day but at busier periods it may take longer. Please be assured you will be contacted.
We will aim to resolve concerns as quickly as possible.
PALS will be unable to assist any individual who is already pursuing the Formal Complaints process with the same issue. Additionally, PALS is unable to deal with any matter relating to a breach in the law or Trust policy.
We are also unable to manage enquiries or queries which relate to other NHS organisations, therefore if your query is related to:
- Services based at either the Royal Stoke University Hospital or County Hospital please contact the PALS service at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust on 01782 676450 or email email@example.com
- GP or dental services please contact NHS England on 0300 311 2233 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mental Health Services (North Staffordshire) please contact North Staffs Combined Healthcare on 0800 389 9676 or email email@example.com
- Adult Social Care Services (for the city of Stoke on Trent) Please contact Stoke on Trent City Council on 01782 234 234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- If your email relates to services that are not managed by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust the PALS and Experience Team will automatically forward your email to the appropriate organisation on your behalf.
Stage 2, Formal Complaints.
We try to resolve all complaints as quickly and efficiently as possible and this is often via the PALS Team. However, you have a right to make a formal complaint without going through the Stage 1 process above or you may be unhappy with the response you received initially. You can of course in this instance request that your concerns or complaints are dealt with formally.
We are a learning organisation and complaints are really important to us; they help us to identify faults or areas for improvements.
We treat any complaint seriously and in complete confidence, ensuring your complaint does not affect your current or future treatment.
If you would like to make a complaint, this should normally be made within twelve months of the event you wish to complain about, or within twelve months of the date you found out about the problem. To do this, please complete the "Complaints, Concerns and Compliments" form at the bottom of this page.
We aim to:
- acknowledge your complaint either verbally or in writing within three working days following the date of receipt and will arrange for an Investigating Officer to contact you to discuss your concerns further
- investigate all issues raised with respect, fairness, confidentiality and without prejudice to the service user
- provide a full response by the method you would prefer, within the agreed timescale. If your preferred method of response is verbal (by telephone or a meeting), the content of this discussion will be confirmed in writing
If you remain dissatisfied with our response or would like clarification, we can arrange for a senior officer of the Trust or the Investigating Officer to contact you.
Complaints about NHS service provision
As an alternative to making a complaint to the Trust directly, you may wish to contact NHS England or your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Further information can be obtained by visiting:
or by contacting the Customer Services Department on Freephone 0800 783 2865.
Integrated Care Board's (ICB)
Everyone who provides an NHS service in England must have their own complaints procedure. You should be able to find information in the waiting room, at reception, on their website or by asking a staff member.
You can either complain directly to the service or to the service commissioner (this is the organisation that paid for the service or care you received). You cannot complain to both at the same time. If you prefer not to raise your concern with the service, these are the commissioners:
Your local integrated care board (ICB) for complaints about: GPs, dentists, opticians or pharmacists, hospital care, mental health services, out of hours services, ambulance services, NHS Continuing Healthcare, NHS 111, community services such as district nursing.
Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent Integrated Care Board (ICB)
For information or advice on our services, please contact us.
Phone: 0300 123 1461
Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Integrated Care Board (ICB)
How to make a complaint or raise a PALS enquiry:
You can make your complaint via the following methods:
Telephone: 01952 580407
In writing: Patient Services Team, NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Halesfield 6, Telford, TF7 4BF
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
After we have taken all possible action to resolve your complaint locally, if you still remain dissatisfied, you can refer your complaint for consideration to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, by writing to:
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Complaints Helpline Telephone: 0345 015 4033
You can also contact the Health Service Ombudsman from a textphone on 0300 061 4298 if you are deaf or have problems using a standard telephone.
NHS Complaints Advocacy and Advice
If you would like support in making your complaint, an advocacy organisation may help you to do this. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service would be happy to provide you with this information but we hope you will find the details below helpful.
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Residents
Asist provides specialist independent advocacy support focused on one-to-one, issue-based advocacy services for people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, or mental health issues.
Advocacy is about enabling people who have difficulty speaking out to speak up and make their own, informed, independent choices about decisions that affect their lives.
Asist Head Office
Healthwatch Staffordshire is a health and social care champion for the public offering advice, guidance and information to the public.
Healthwatch supports the public with information and advice on health and social care concerns.
Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent is a health and social care champion for the public offering advice, guidance and information to the public.
Healthwatch supports the public with information and advice on health and social care concerns.
Healthwatch Shropshire provide a free, independent and confidential health complaints advocacy service for residents of Shropshire. This is a free service which offers some assistance with guiding you through the NHS Complaints process.
Healthwatch Shropshire is a specialist advocacy agency, with immense experience and can be contacted:
Telford & Wrekin Residents
Telford & Wrekin Independent Complaints Advocacy Service, delivered by POhWER, provides independent advocacy to support people who wish to make a complaint about an NHS funded service. Anyone who is considering making a complaint about NHS care or treatment can download self-help information from POhWER's website.
People who need more information, advice or support can contact POhWER:
- by telephone 0300 456 2370
- by SMS text message: send the word 'pohwer' with your name and number to 81025
- by email email@example.com
Their postal address is:
PO Box 17943
For Residents Outside Staffordshire and Shropshire
NHS Complaints Advocacy is able to signpost you to your local confidential health complaints advocacy service. This is a free service which offers assistance with guiding you through the NHS Complaints process and can be contacted on 0300 303 1660.
Feedback on the Service Received from Customer Services
If you have been in contact with the Customer Services Department, please fill in this short questionnaire regarding the service you received.
Learning for PALS and Complaints
It is recognised good practice for NHS Trusts to have a PALS and Complaints outcome page.
Care Quality Commission
If you are a service user detained under the Mental Health Act, as an alternative to using the Trust's Complaint's Procedure, you can ask the Care Quality Commission to take forward your concerns. An explanatory leaflet is available on all wards.
Complaints, Concerns and Compliments Form
The information submitted using this form will be held and used in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. The Data Controller is Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust will not disclose such information to any unauthorised person or body but, where appropriate, will use such information in responding to your complaint. The Trust will store this data in an electronic format and may also use this data in connection with the prevention or detection of fraud or other crime.