Complaints and Compliments
Compliments and Complaints about Southwark Council
We are constantly trying to meet our service users needs in the most effective way. In order for us to achieve this it is very important we hear the views and comments from those using the services. This could be anything from things you think we need to adjust or change, to things you think we have got right and services you want to compliment.
Here you can find where to send us your comments and compliments.
Tel: 020 7525 3104
HealthWatch is an independent champion for patient and public voice in improving health and social care. They are there to make sure your views on local health and social care services are heard. Their aim is to bring people together to influence and improve services, through you sharing your experiences with them. They have places on various care boards and groups where they raise issues important to you.
Southwark Council do not investigate NHS complaints. HealthWatch Southwark can provide information and support on how to make a complaint, please see below their advice below;
Do you have a complaint about your NHS treatment or care?
Depending on which service (e.g. GP, or Hospital Trusts) you are complaining about, there are generally two steps:
A local resolution (trying to sort out the complaint directly with the Service )
External resolution (escalating the complaint or going outside of the Service Provider)
What is NHS Complaints Advocacy?
NHS Complaints Advocacy is free, independent of the NHS and confidential. We can help you to use the NHS complaints process which covers all NHS funded treatment.
As well as NHS hospitals, GPs, ambulance services, district nurses and mental health services you can also use the NHS complaints process to complain about your dentist (if they treat you as an NHS patient), a pharmacist (if you had an NHS prescription) or your optician (if the NHS pays for your eye tests and glasses). Also if the NHS paid for you to be treated at a private hospital or pays all or part of someone’s care home fees this is covered by the complaints process.
What the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service can and can't do?
Give you information about how to complain including who to complain to
Explain the complaints process and your options at each stage of the process
Signpost you to other organisations who can help you if we can’t
Send you an information pack to help you make your complaint yourself
Provide you with an advocate to support you if you need more help
Investigate your complaint
Support you with a complaint about something that happened more than 12 months ago, unless you have only just found out that something went wrong or you have a good reason for not complaining sooner. This is because the NHS regulations say you should complain within 12 months.
Support you with a complaint about private health care
Support you to complain about a medical professional’s fitness to practise (whether they are able to do their job)
Give you legal advice
Give you medical advice
What sort of support can NHS Complaints Advocacy Service offer?
You can download our self-help information, including information about the NHS complaints process and how to make your complaint. If you are not sure whether to make a complaint please contact us. We will listen and help you decide whether there are other ways of sorting out your concerns.
If you feel you need more help an NHS Complaints advocate can support you at any stage of the complaints process. Advocates can help with writing letters, getting copies of your medical records and finding information about your concerns. Sometimes to sort out your concerns you might want to have a meeting with NHS staff. If you decide to do this your advocate can help you prepare for the meeting and if you want, come to it with you.
If after doing everything you can to sort out your complaint you are not happy with the way the NHS has dealt with it you can take your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman. This is the second and last stage of the NHS complaints process. You can find out more about taking your complaint to the Ombudsman from their website www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint.
If you need help taking your complaint to the ombudsman please contact us or speak to your advocate.
How do I get support from an advocate?
If you would like an advocate to support you with your complaint you can contact us yourself via the contact number on this page. You can also make a referral for someone else but please get their permission first.
Tel: 0300 311 22 33
To complain about Primary Care Services (GPs, Dentists, Opticians and Pharmacists) you should contact the Service provider directly to address your concern informally or formally.
If you choose not to you can contact:
Tel:0300 311 22 33
To complain about NHS providers (Hospitals Trusts, Community Services) you can raise this with the person/service involved or their manager or the Hospital Trust’s PALs service, where they will try to address your concern informally or formally.
You can also raise complaints with:
NHS England or NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Group via:
Commissioning Support Complaints Team
Tel: 0800 456 1517
If you are not satisfied, you can refer the matter to the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman. Visit www.ombudsman.org.uk for more information.
All commissioned services have their own complaints policy. Advice on how to make a complaint about a charity or other providers can be found at:
www.cqc.org.uk and www.charitycommission.gov.uk
You can also use Southwark’s complaints process for commissioned services. It would usually be expected that you had contacted the service first before the complaints team, however this is not mandatory.
Southwark Council are not responsible for investigating complaints about schools, academies, free schools, colleges or Universities, as they have their own complaints procedures.
For more information and advice on how to make a complaint for these organisations please follow this link.
The LGO (Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman) look at individual complaints about councils, all adult social care providers (including care homes and home care agencies) and some other organisations providing local public services.