NHS Sussex is committed to ensuring that NHS services across the county are providing high quality care and treatment for our patients.
We welcome comments, compliments, concerns or complaints about services we purchase on your behalf (including those provided by GPs, dentists, optometrists and pharmacies).
As a patient, relative or carer sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice and support.
The PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) can help with confidential information and non medical advice about local health services as well as advice to help you resolve concerns informally. Click here to find out about PALS.
If you are unhappy with the way you have been treated by the NHS, you have the right to make a complaint, have it considered, and receive a response from the organisation concerned.
You can make a complaint if you have been, or are likely to be, affected by the actions of any part of the NHS. You can also complain on behalf of someone else if you can show you have their consent or legal authority such as power of attorney.
Your complaint should be raised within 12 months of the date of an incident or of when you become aware of the issue. This timescale can be extended in exceptional cases.
We view all feedback, both positive and negative, as an opportunity to learn and improve our services.
Where there has been a mistake or where systems need to be changed or improved, we will acknowledge this and let you know what action will be taken.
The NHS complaints procedure has two stages.
The first stage is called 'local resolution' and most concerns are resolved at this stage.
You can raise your concern by either contacting the manager of the service concerned or the complaints team of the organisation which manages the service.
We recommend that in most cases that you should try and resolve your concern by raising your complaint directly with the service provider or a health care professional who is directly involved in your care. You will find a list of the most likely local organisations you may have been treated by here.
The NHS Sussex complaints team can handle complaints about the funding of, and access to, NHS services, or about decisions made by the Primary Care Trust and in some circumstances we can handle complaints about primary care services (e.g. GPs, dentists and opticians).
Exceptionally we can handle or manage complaints about other local NHS services such as hospitals and community services. We will be happy to discuss your complaint with you if you are not sure who to contact.
If your concern cannot be resolved within 24 hours, you will receive an acknowledgement either written or by telephone and your issues will be fully investigated. We aim to get back to you with the result of our investigation within 30 working days and we will let you know if there is likely to be a delay.
We are always happy to discuss your concerns after you have received your response; it is important to us that you feel we have done all we can to resolve the concern and respond to you.
Stage two - if you are still unhappy, you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to review your complaint. The Ombudsman’s number is 0345 015 4033 or you can complete an online form on their website.
If you feel you want help and support in raising your concerns you can contact Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)
They are a free, impartial service who should be able to advise you and may be able to help draft correspondence or accompany you to meetings.
Your local branch can be contacted by calling: 0845 600 8616 or 0330 440 9000 or emailing email@example.com
This policy is designed to outline the principles to be adhered to during the process for handling complaints generated by patients, carers, and the general public.
NHS Brighton and Hove,
Level 4, Lanchester House
Trafalgar Place, Brighton, BN1 4FU
Telephone: 01273 574655 / 574648
© Brighton and Hove City Primary Care Trust