Giving you confidential support, advice and information
The Complaints and Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is here to:
- advise and support patients, their families and carers
- provide information on NHS services
- listen to your suggestions
- answering any queries or sorting out any concerns you may have about the services we commission
We are committed to providing the best possible service at all times. We welcome your suggestions and feedback about our services and want to resolve any problems you may experience. Feedback about the services we commission enables us to make local healthcare services more effective. If you need to turn to someone for help about the services we commission, contact Complaints and PALS in confidence.
Office hours: 9am – 5pm. If you call outside these hours you will be asked to leave your name, number and message on our answerphone. Someone from PALS will call you back as soon as they can. Calls to 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number and must count towards any inclusive minutes in the same way as 01 and 02 calls. These rules apply to all calls from any type of line including mobile, BT, other fixed line or payphone.
Making a comment or suggestion
If you have received particularly good service from any health service provider or you have any comments/suggestions to make, please let us know. Your personal details remain confidential although information from Complaints and PALS is used anonymously to help improve services.
You can provide feedback by telephone, email, in writing or in person. Further information about our Complaints and PALS service is available in our service leaflet.
Making a formal complaint
Many complaints can be resolved quickly by discussing them directly with the person providing the service or the manager concerned. However, if a discussion has not resolved your concerns, you can make a formal complaint through our Complaints and PALS service.
Our Complaints and PALS service is impartial and will work with you to try to resolve a difficulty or problem and can also act on your behalf, if you wish. We will discuss with you the best ways to resolve your concerns or problems and agree with you what action to take. We can also signpost to other sources of help.
If you would like to proceed with a formal complaint please let us know as soon as possible, as there is a time limit of 12 months, although this can be reviewed depending on the circumstances.
You can make a complaint by telephone, email, in writing or in person. Further information about our Complaints and PALS service is available in our service leaflet.
Before we can investigate your complaint we are required to obtain consent. We request consent because we have to maintain strict patient confidentiality at all times and we are not permitted to release any information to another party without it. Our consent forms are available below:
- Consent form – Complainant
- Consent form – Third party authority – Patient is able to give consent
- Consent form – Third party authority – Patient is unable to give consent
If you have a comment or complaint about a GP, dentist, pharmacy or optician that cannot be resolved by the Practice Manager, please contact NHS England at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 0300 311 2233.
Frequently asked questions >
Who can complain? >
Anyone who is receiving, or has received, NHS treatment or services can complain. If you are unable to make a complaint yourself, then someone can act on your behalf with your written consent.
Young persons (under age 18) are entitled to complain independently if they wish to do so. Alternatively someone can act on their behalf with the appropriate consent.
What information do I need to make a complaint? >
To make the process as quick and as simple as possible, please try and include the following information when making a complaint:
- Your name, address and contact telephone number or those of the person that you may be complaining on behalf of, including date of birth and NHS number
- A summary of what has happened, giving dates where possible
- Which organisation provided the care or service
- A list of things that you are complaining about
- What you would like to happen as a result of your complaint
What can I expect once I have made a complaint? >
Once you have submitted your complaint, a member of the team will contact you to agree the best way forward for investigating your complaint, taking into account your desired outcome.
The issues will be fully investigated and you should then receive your response (which can be a written response or a meeting with relevant staff) within the agreed timescales. Please do not worry about the service you receive in future being adversely affected because you have made a complaint.
We take all comments and concerns seriously and use the information to review our services and make improvements, where appropriate. The PALS and Complaints team will also provide you with a copy of NHS Wiltshire’s CCG’s complaints procedure if required.
seAp Advocacy Service
seAp is an independent charity that provides free independent and confidential advocacy services. seAp can offer help and support to members of the public wishing to make a formal complaint about the NHS. They can help you to write your letter of complaint and accompany you to any meetings.
Independent review of complaints >
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
We do our best to resolve your complaint locally however if you consider that not all of your issues have been addressed, please let us know so that we can agree a way forward.
If you still feel a local resolution has not been achieved and you remain unhappy with the outcome of your complaint you can refer to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). The Ombudsman is independent, free of charge and may decide to investigate your complaint on your behalf, but only after it has been investigated at local level first.