Knowing how to make a complaint
Making a complaint can be a daunting task, so knowing who you can complain to and what to do is essential.
We can help you. We've worked with Healthwatch England to produce straightforward advice that will guide you through the process from knowing who to talk to, top tips on what to do and what you can expect from services in response.
From 1 July 2023 the way members of the public make a complaint about primary care services is changing.
By primary care, we mean GPs, dentists, opticians or pharmacy services, etc,.
Previously, NHS England was responsible for Primary Care complaints, however, the way complaints are handled has recently changed. Now your local Integrated Care Board (ICB) is responsible.
From 1 July 2023, if you want to make a complaint about primary care services, you will need to contact NHS North West London instead of NHS England.
You can do this by:
Telephone: 020 3350 4567 (This is an automated service. Please leave a message requesting a call back).
In writing: Complaints Manager, NHS North West London, 15 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5JD
You can still complain directly to the provider (GP, dentist etc) - this is not changing.
Members of the public with ongoing complaints received on/after 1 July 2022 will receive a letter from NHS England informing them that the ICB is now handling their complaint with confirmation of their case handler.
Members of the public with any ongoing complaints received before 1 July 2022 will receive a letter from NHS England informing them that their complaint is being retained by NHS England with confirmation of their case handler.
Find out more at www.nwlondonicb.nhs.uk/complaints
If your complaint is unresolved your complaint can be referred to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman exists to resolve complaints about health and social care services in England.
You can refer your complaint to them using the phone or online.
Phone: 0345 015 4033
Complaints advocacy service
Healthwatch Hammersmith and Fulham do not provide an advocacy service or handle individual complaints. We will refer you to Libra Partnership to make a complaint.
Every area of England has an independent NHS complaints advocacy service funded by the local authority.
If you are a resident in Hammersmith & Fulham, you can receive free independent advocacy from Libra Partnership.
Libra has provided a voice for hundreds of individuals across the UK by delivering different Advocacy Services. They can help you make a complaint about an NHS service or work out what you want to achieve from a complaint, provide Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy (IMCA), Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA), Care Act Advocacy (CAA), and Relevant Person's Paid Representative (RPR).
You can contact them by one of the following ways:
Visit the Libra Partnership website to find out more about the support they offer.
Please note: Advocacy services in Hammersmith and Fulham were previously delivered by The Advocacy Project. This has now changed. Advocacy is now delivered by Libra Partnership.
Patient Advice Liaison Service
Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) offers confidential advice, support and information on health matters. It provides a point of contact for patients, families and carers. You can find PALS officers in your local hospital.
PALS do not investigate individual complaints but can give you general advice about the NHS complaints procedure.
Here is a list of contact details for the local PALS teams:
For Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital, Queen Charlotte's & Chelsea Hospital, St Mary’s Hospital, and the Western Eye Hospital, the contact details for PALS team are:
020 3312 7777
For Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, the contact details for PALS team are:
020 3315 6727
For more information on how PALS can help you, and how to find your local PALS team, visit the NHS website.