Complaints and compliments
Tell us about your experience – good or bad we want to know.
Your experience of local NHS Services
NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group welcomes feedback, positive or negative, about your experience of local NHS services as this helps us to improve services for our patients.
We need to know if you, your relative or someone you care for, has not received a good service. Please be assured that raising a concern or complaint will not affect your care or treatment in any way.
In the case of a primary care practitioners (GP practice, dental practice, community pharmacy or optician) the complaint or compliment should be directed to NHS England. You can contact NHS England by phoning 03003 11 22 33 or by emailing: email@example.com. Local resolution aims to resolve complaints as quickly and as close to the source of the complaint as possible.
Comments and complaints about the NHS 111 service can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively you can send your compliments or concerns direct to necsu.CumbriaCCGComplaints@nhs.net
If you are unhappy with the treatment or service you have received from NHS services, you have the right to make a complaint, have it looked into and receive a response.
Click here for Complaints leaflet
Click here for Complaints leaflet (large print)
Making a complaint
Who can help me in making a complaint?
Best Life Advocacy provided by People First Cumbria (tel: 03003 038 037) can guide and support you through the complaints process. They can help you put your complaint in writing and attend meetings with you, but they do not investigate complaints.
Support to residents of all other areas of the North East and Cumbria is available from the Carers Federation who can be contacted on 0808 802 3000.This may be especially helpful if your complaint is complex or involves several organisations.
For further information on the NHS Complaints procedure please visit the NHS Choices website.
Who can complain?
Anyone can complain about NHS services or treatment they have received or if they have been affected by the actions or decisions of an NHS organisation or primary care practitioner. If you are unable to complain yourself, someone can act on your behalf with your written consent.
How do I make a complaint?
The first stage of the NHS complaints procedure is called ‘local resolution’. Your complaint should be made to the NHS organisation who provided the service or in the case of a primary care practitioner (GP practice, dental practice, community pharmacy or optician) to NHS England.
You can contact NHS England by phoning 03003 11 22 33 or by emailing: email@example.com. Local resolution aims to resolve complaints as quickly and as close to the source of the complaint as possible.
You can make your complaint in writing, by email, or verbally. If you make your complaint verbally, you will be asked to check a written record of your complaint to ensure that you agree with the contents.
Should you prefer to meet with our Complaints Team to discuss your complaint, this can be arranged, though please note that such meetings are by appointment only.
Visit the NHS choices website here to find out more about the NHS complaints procedure.
When should I make a complaint?
A complaint should be made within 12 months from the date the event occurred or when it came to your attention. In some cases, if there is a good reason why you could not complain sooner and is still possible to investigate your complaint, it may be possible to waive the time limit.
What happens if my complaint involves a number of NHS organisations?
If your complaint involves more than one NHS organisation, or the NHS and social care, you only need to make one complaint You will be asked for your permission for your complaint to be shared between all the organisations involved and you will usually receive a single co-ordinated response.
Where do I send a complaint about a hospital, community or mental health service?
If your complaint is about care that you have received from a hospital you can directly contact the complaints department for that service.
Please contact University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust on 01539 716645 or visit their website to complaint about services at:
· Furness General Hospital in Barrow-in-Furness
· Westmorland General Hospital in Kendal
· Ulverston Community Health Centre in Ulverston
Please contact North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust on 01228 814018 or visit their website to complaint about services at:
· Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle
· West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven
· Midwifery-led service at Penrith Community Hospital
Please contact Cumbria Partnership Foundation NHS Trust on 01228 602020 or visit their website to complain about community and mental health services including the following :
· Community hospitals
· Community nursing
· Drug and alcohol services
· Health visiting
· Learning disability services
· Mental health services
· Allied health services such as podiatry, physiotherapy and occupational therapy
· Community dentistry
· Children's services
NHS Cumbria CCG is the commissioner of local hospital, community and mental health services and you can send your complaint to us about these services. However, with your consent, this will be forwarded to the relevant provider organisation that will then investigate and respond to your complaint.
Where do I send a complaint about a GP practice, dental practice, community pharmacy or optician?
If your complaint is about a GP practice, dental practice, community pharmacy or optician you should send this to the practice concerned.
Some complainants prefer to send their complaint to the commissioner of NHS services. This is fine; however, the health care provider (for example the GP surgery) will normally be given the opportunity to respond to your complaint.
NHS England is the commissioner of primary care services (such as GP and dental practices) and, if you prefer, you can send your complaint about these services to NHS England at the address below:
Tel: 0300 311 22 33
In writing: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT
Where do I send a complaint about a CCG commissioning or funding decision?
If your complaint is about a CCG commissioning or funding decision you should send this to:
NECS Clinical Quality Team, Enterprise House, Meadowbank Business Park, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 6NY
0300 123 9006
The Clinical Quality Team at the North of England Commissioning Support Unit (NECS) handles complaints on our behalf. You should therefore be aware that, your complaint will be forwarded to NECS in order that it can be investigated. With your permission, NECS staff will access relevant records and information regarding your complaint and share this with the CCG.
Should you have any concerns about how your information is to be used or if you do not wish your information to be shared by the CCG with NECS then please email your complaint via firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know when you make your complaint.
What can I expect in response?
When you submit a complaint, it is helpful if you can be clear about what you would like to achieve as a result of making your complaint, so that the NHS can try to resolve the matter to your satisfaction.
Your complaint will be fully investigated in a manner that is fair to both complainants and staff. If failings are identified during the investigation, you can expect that any necessary improvements will be made to the quality of services. It is usual for the NHS to respond to complaints in writing, but if you prefer, you can ask for your response to be provided in person or by phone.
What happens if I am unhappy with the response?
We do our best to ensure that all complaints are handled well and that appropriate action is taken to resolve all concerns. We will do everything that we feel is appropriate in our attempt to resolve matters to your satisfaction.
If, however, you remain unhappy with how your complaint has been handled, you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) to review your complaint. You should do this within twelve months from the date on which the subject matter of the complaint occurred. The PHSO can be contacted as follows:
Helpline: 0345 015 4033
In writing: Ombudsman at Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP
Further information about the Ombudsman is available on their website.