1. Can someone else make a complaint on my behalf?
Yes, however to protect your confidentiality we will need to ask you for your consent. We need this before we can access your records to investigate the complaint.
2. Can I get support with writing my complaint?
Yes, you can get support from the Independent Complaints Advocacy (ICA) or Healthwatch in Northumberland.
3. What will you do with my information?
We treat this information in the strictest confidence and process it in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
4. How long do I have to make a complaint?
Within 12 months of the incident happening or once you become aware of the matter being complained about. If there is good reason for the complaint not being raised earlier and it may still be possible to investigate.
5. What if I am a child and I wish to make a complaint?
You have the right to make a complaint. For example, complaints must be kept confidential except in very exceptional cases if you are at risk of harm. You don’t have to put your complaint in writing, and you can talk it through with someone or get help to make a complaint if you prefer.
6. What if my complaint involves more than one organisation?
When this happens, the main organisation involved in your care will usually take the lead in investigating the complaint and responding. They will ask other organisations involved to look into the issues relating to their organisation and provide a response.
7. Who will investigate my complaint?
An Investigating Officer will be appointed to investigate your complaint. Where appropriate, this person will keep you updated about the investigation progress and request any further information that may be required.
8. What if I am not satisfied with the response to my complaint?
If you still feel that your concerns have not been fully addressed, you can seek a review by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman who can carry out free, independent investigations into complaints about NHS services in England.
9. How long will it take for someone to respond to my complaint?
Complaints are acknowledged, either verbally or in writing, within three working days. We will discuss the handling of your complaint with you, how and when it is responded to and what you would ideally like to see happen.
10. How can I be sure you have understood all my concerns?
When we write to you with the timeframe and method of response we have agreed with you, we will summarise the issues for investigation. If we have not been able to speak to you about your complaint, we will summarise the issues we have identified from your correspondence.
11. What if I have concerns about a registered healthcare professional’s fitness to practice?
If you believe that your complaint is about a health practitioner’s fitness to practice or poses a serious potential risk to patient safety, then you have the right to take your complaint to the relevant professional regulator: