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Making a formal complaint

We aim to provide the best possible care for our patients but we know that sometimes things don’t go as we would hope. If you feel that your care or treatment fell below the expected standards, please contact us.

Hearing our service users views, including formal complaints, is very important to us and helps us make improvements to the services we provide. All feedback is taken very seriously. We ask that you send your complaint to us in writing to ensure we address all of your concerns. 

In line with the NHS Complaints Regulations 2009, a complaint must be made within one year of the event which is the subject of the complaint occurring or within one year of knowing you have cause to complain. For further details please contact our patient experience manager on the telephone number listed below.  You can also contact our patient advice and liaison service (PALS) if you are unsure whether you would like the matter dealt with formally and they would be happy to offer advice to you.

What should I include in my complaint?

If you are complaining about your own care, please include:

  • Your full name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your telephone number or email address
  • Your postal address
  • A description of what happened including any specific questions you would like answered
  • If you have a recommendation of how the complaint can be resolved, please also include this.

If you are complaining about someone else’s care, please include:

  • The patient’s full name
  • The patient’s date of birth
  • A written letter signed by the patient authorising us to disclose their confidential medical information (relevant to the matter of the complaint) to you, as the person making the complaint. If you are unable to provide this please contact our patient experience manager for advice on 01284 713056.
  • Your full name
  • Your telephone number or email address
  • Your postal address
  • A description of what happened including any specific questions you would like answered
  • If you have a recommendation of how the complaint can be resolved, please also include this.

If you are complaining about something unrelated to care or treatment (such as the hospital facilities) we do not need your date of birth.

What does the hospital do with my complaint? 

Once your complaint is received, you will receive a letter, and if required a telephone call, from our patient experience manager outlining how our investigation will take place. In most cases we will aim to respond to you within 25 working days from receiving your complaint, however, some complaints may take longer to investigate so this timeframe may vary. You will be kept informed of any changes in timeframes.

Our patient experience manager will work with senior staff and those responsible for your care in order to understand what occurred, ensuring areas learn from your feedback and put improvement measures in place to make sure the right thing happens next time. Once the investigation is complete and our patient experience manager is satisfied that we have identified and addressed the issues, a written response will be compiled to you by our chief executive.

Please be assured that details relating to your complaint will not be stored on your medical records and future care or treatment you receive from us will not be affected by you raising your concerns.

I need help with writing my complaint

VoiceAbility, a free and independent service, can work with you in a variety of ways to help you make a complaint and support you throughout the process.

If you would like an advocate to work with you, please contact the VoiceAbility helpline on 0300 330 5454 or visit their website for more information.

Who to contact to make a formal complaint? 

Patient experience manager
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Hardwick Lane
Bury St Edmunds
Suffolk IP33 2QZ

Email: feedback@wsh.nhs.uk

Telephone: 01284 713056 

I do not feel my complaint has been resolved

We try our best to fully investigate your concerns and make positive changes as a result of your feedback, however we recognise that sometimes you may require further clarification. If you are dissatisfied with our investigation, please contact the patient experience team to discuss further options. 

If these measures do not resolve your concerns, you can refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) who will consider conducting an independent review. The PHSO contact details are as follows:

Websitehttps://www.ombudsman.org.uk/

Telephone: 0345 015 4033 or text 07624 813005 with your name and mobile number for a call back