Making a complaint

Complaints are an opportunity to put things right and prevent problems occurring in the future. We take every complaint we receive seriously and will discuss with you the best way of resolving your concerns.

The first stage of the complaints process is called Local Resolution where those most involved with your concern will be asked to try to resolve immediate problems for you. Each complaint will be investigated and, if you wish, you will receive a formal written response.

Who can complain?
Anyone who is receiving or has received NHS treatment or services can complain. You can also complain on behalf of a friend or a relative, but you must have their consent. This will usually be required in writing.

When should I complain?
It is always best to make your complaint as soon as possible, while the memory of the incident is still fresh for all involved. Complaints will usually only be investigated within 12 months of the event. However, this can be extended if there is a good reason why the complaint was not made within the timescale and it is still possible to investigate the complaint effectively and fairly.

What should I include in my complaint?
  • Your name, date of birth, address and telephone number
  • A summary of what happened, who was involved and when it happened
  • A list of what you are complaining about
  • If you are acting on behalf of someone else; their details and consent
  • How you would like your complaint to be resolved e.g. by phone, in a meeting or by written response
Click here for PALS leaflet “making complaint, concerns, compliment & comments”.

If you need help making a complaint
POhWER is a charity that provides independent advocacy support to people who wish to make a complaint about the service that they have received from the NHS.  POhWER can help you draft or write a complaint letter, and attend meetings with you.
Contact POhWER:

POhWER NHS Complaints Advocacy
PO Box 17943
B9 9PB
Contact POhWER:
Tel: 0300 456 2370

In order to look into your concerns, it may be necessary to review your medical and other related records. If you do not want us to do this, please tell us, but please bear in mind that this may limit our ability to investigate your concerns.

How will Whittington Health handle your complaint?
  • We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days of receipt
  • We will contact you to agree how best to address it
  • We will ensure it is investigated thoroughly and fairly
  • We will usually respond within 25 working days. If there is a delay we will let you know the reason
  • You will receive a response including a full explanation of what happened, an apology if one is due, an explanation of lessons learned and any actions taken to prevent it reoccurring. You will be given the opportunity to discuss the problem with those concerned

If you are not satisfied with your response
  • Contact us and explain why you are not satisfied.
  • Identify the issues that you feel have not been addressed fully.
  • Your ongoing concerns will be further investigated
  • We will offer to meet you to try to resolve your concerns

If you remain dissatisfied
If you are 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 or call the helpline 0345 015 4033. It is important you make your complaint as soon as you receive our final response as there are time limits for the Ombudsman to look into complaints.
  • The Ombudsman will only consider your complaint once it has been through the local resolution process
  • Your request should be made within 12 months of your complaint
  • You should explain why you consider their review necessary

Whether you raise a concern or make a complaint your care will not be adversely affected.
Concerns and complaints are taken seriously and never ignored.

Other Languages
If you wish to make a comment, compliment, concern or complaint and English is not your first language, you can get help from the Interpreting Service by telephoning 020 7288 5191 / 5114 / 3226 or e-mail to

Dusuncelerinizi , ovgulerinizi, endiselerinizi soylemek veya sikayette bulunmak istiyorsaniz ve bunlari Ingilizce olarak bizlere aktaramiyorsaniz, 020 7288 5191/5114/3226 telefon numaralarini arayarak Tercumanlik Servisimizden yardim isteyebilirsiniz.

Si usted desea hacer un comentario, cumplido o si tiene alguna inquietud o queja y su primer idioma no es el ingles, puede obtener ayuda del Servicio de Interpretacion, llamando al 020 7288 5191/ 5114/3226.
Page last updated: 01 Aug 2019
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