Complaints, Compliments and Comments

As an organisation, we work hard to make sure our patients are treated fairly and with respect and we want to hear about any aspects of the services our patients experience.

There may be times when things go wrong or you are dissatisfied with the service we provide.

We also welcome comments and compliments about the services we provide. You will find some examples of recent compliments here.

This page will explain how to make a complaint, compliment or comment.

You can also read our Complaints, Compliments and Comments booklet by clicking on the image below.

 Complaints booklet 2015

How to raise a concern

In many cases, concerns can be resolved straight away if you let the person you are dealing with know.

Otherwise, our Patient Experience Team is the first point of contact if you wish to make a complaint, highlight a concern, or have any comments about the service or treatment you have received from us.

You can contact us by filling in the form on the right hand side of this page, or by letter, telephone, or in person.

You may wish to raise your concerns with someone who is not involved in your care, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) provides:

  • Help to sort out problems quickly on your behalf and listen to your concerns, suggestions or queries.
  • Confidential advice and support to patients, their families and carers.
  • Information on NHS services.

How we will manage your contact with us

The Trust operates a complaints process in line with The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009.

Once we receive your complaint, we will endeavour to acknowledge it, either verbally or in writing, within three working days. At this point, we will need to discuss the handling of your complaint with you - how and when it is responded to and what you would ideally like to see happen.

An Investigating Officer will be appointed to look into your complaint. Where appropriate, this person will keep you updated about the investigation progress and request any further information that may be required.

We will endeavour to provide a full written response within 25 working days. Where this is not possible, we will be keep you informed and agree a new timescale with you.

By the end of the investigation we hope to answer all your questions, address your concerns satisfactorily and make necessary improvements to service where appropriate.

The Trust will endeavour to resolve all issues at a local level, however, in the event that you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint, you have the right to contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman  (full contact set out on the right). We will adhere to the principles of good administration set out by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

You may also wish to contact your local Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS). ICAS supports patients and their carers who wish to pursue a complaint about any NHS treatment or care. Information about how to contact your local ICAS is on the right hand side of this page.

What we will do if we get it wrong

Although we aim to provide a high quality service, there are times when we get it wrong. When that happens we will do the following.

  • Offer you an apology.
  • Review the care we provided or the way we managed the incident and reflect on what happened in a way that helps us to learn from the experience.
  • Use your experience to improve our policies and practice.
  • Where appropriate, create a specific care plan, with the involvement and agreement of the patient involved.
  • Explain what we have done to address the issues raised and prevent them happening again.
  • Work closely with any other agency involved so that we can offer a 'joined-up' approach.

Additionally, if you have concerns regarding any of the services provided by the Trust you can contact the Care Quality Commission on telephone number 03000 616161 or email enquiries@cqc.org.uk. Further information about the Care Quality Commission is available at www.cqc.org.uk .  

Any contact with the Patient Experience Team will not adversely affect the service provided by Trust and any person raising a concern will not be treated differently.

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North East Ambulance Service HQ
Bernicia House
Newburn Riverside
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE15 8NY

Tel: 0191 430 2000

Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)
Unit 312
Aidan House
Sunderland Road
Gateshead
NE8 3HU        

Tel: 0808 802 3000

For the Northumberland area, contact the Independent Complaints Advocacy Northumberland (ICAN) at:                

Independent Complaints Advocacy Northumberland (ICAN)
HealthWatch Northumberland  
Bluebird House
Haugh Lane Industrial Estate 
Hexham  
Northumberland
NE46 3PU  

Tel: 01434 600599

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London
SW1P 4QP

Tel: 0845 015 4033
Email:phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk   

Copyright 2011 North East Ambulance Service Trust

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