Compliments, complaints and concerns
We want to know what you think about the services we provide at Croydon Health Services. The public are encouraged to speak directly to the ward staff, or to a matron if they feel that the issue is serious or relates more generally to the service or the ward.
We would like to know what we do well and what we could do better. In giving us your feedback you do not have to give your name although it will help us if you do. If your prefer your name is not given to the people you are commenting on, we will respect your wish to remain anonymous.
Commenting on services, positively or negatively, will not adversely affect your care and treatment in any way
In addition, patients or relatives who are unhappy with dealing with the ward or nursing staff directly will be signposted to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service - PALS (PALS) so that PALS can liaise with staff and managers to try and sort out issues quickly.
Tell us you're happy
Everyone likes to know if they are doing a good job and to receive a compliment. Here at the Trust we want to know if we are providing a good service. If you have experienced a good service from any of our staff, please let us know. We will use this information to help improve other areas of service in our hospitals. Please email us on email@example.com with your positive feedback.
You can also post your comments publicly on the NHS Choices feedback page.
Whatever experience you have had, good or bad, Healthwatch Croydon want to hear it to help contribute to improving services. You can have your say on their easy-to-use feedback form on mobile, tablet or PC at www.healthwatchcroydon.co.uk which takes just a few minutes to fill in. This means you can leave feedback just after you have received care – you don’t need to wait. All comments received enter their feedback centre and even if you leave your name and details, the comments are still treated anonymously.
Raising your concerns/complaints
If you have any comments, questions or concerns about the service or treatment you have received please raise them with the staff looking after you or responsible for your care so we can address and resolve them at the time. If you do not feel able to raise your concerns with staff or do not get a satisfactory response you should contact our PALS and complaints team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You can contact our PALS and complaints team by telephoning, emailing, writing or in person at:
PALS and complaints team
Croydon Health Services
Croydon University Hospital
530 London Road
Telephone hours: Monday to Friday 9.30am-4pm.
Walk-in hours: Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) 9.30am-4pm.
You can also contact us if you want to:
- ask about the service you received from our hospitals or community services;
- make comments and suggestions about your experience with us, which will help us to improve the services we provide;
- find out about our policies and practices;
- be referred to advocacy services which can support you;
- obtain information about any aspect of our work;
- be put in touch with other health and social care providers and organisations;
- get access to bilingual health advocates and other support services you or your family might need to help you liaise with us. For example, interpreters or signers; or
- complain about the service you received from us.
Please let us have as much information as possible to help us respond to your enquiry quickly including:
- Full name and address of patient
- Date of birth
- Hospital (MRN) number if known
- Relevant dates, such as date of admission to hospital; date of outpatient clinic appointment
- Brief description of the problem
- Names of any members of staff involved
- Please provide a telephone number we can contact you on and an email address if you have one.
How we will respond to your enquiry or concern
When we receive your enquiry or concern, our PALS and Complaints team will aim to resolve any issues promptly and will arrange for them to be dealt with by the most appropriate person, for example the Manager or Matron for the service or department in question. Our PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) service aims to acknowledge your concerns and contact you the same day, or by the end of the next working day at the latest.
For serious complaints we aim to talk through your concerns with you in the first instance so that we can be sure we address your key issues and check that the complaints procedure is the best route to deal with your issues swiftly and effectively. If, for example, your concerns are about the care of someone currently in hospital we may, with your agreement, ask our PALS team to help you in the first instance so that we can sort things out quickly.
Senior staff will be involved in investigating your concerns and you can be assured that our Chief Executive and senior managers are made aware of the most serious issues and any emerging themes from patient comments, concerns and complaints. If more than one organisation is involved, PALS and Complaints staff handling your case will ask your agreement to work together to investigate and ensure you receive one coordinated letter of response from the organisations concerned.
We are changing the way we deal with complaints. Our new procedure will enable us to identify the most serious issues or unsafe practice, quickly and manage them appropriately. In some cases we will deal with incidents under our serious untoward incidents policy.
If you are not happy with our response to your complaint, you have a right to contact the Health Service Ombudsman to ask for an independent review of your complaint. Please visit www.ombudsman.org.uk for further information.
What we will do to resolve your enquiry
When we receive an enquiry, concern, or complaint we will do the following:
- Assess the situation and take immediate action if any patient might be at risk;
- Discuss with you your key points of concern. We will meet with you or, with your consent, whoever has made the enquiry if this is appropriate;
- Agree how long we expect our investigations and response to you to take;
- Give you details of Independent Advocacy Services if you would like them;
- Examine and evaluate any relevant records;
- Obtain an account of events from the staff involved;
- Obtain clinical advice about the care provided as needed;
- Offer a comprehensive explanation of the care or treatment provided;
- Explain what action we are going to take, if any.
Where appropriate, we will take the following action:
- Involve relevant senior managers and our Medical Director at an early stage. We may also obtain independent clinical advice;
- Have face-to-face meetings at an early stage, where requested or appropriate. We will always consider a face-to-face meeting if someone has died; when a serious case is identified; and when the person concerned requests one;
- Arrange independent mediation where appropriate;
- Ask people independent of our organisation to carry out an inquiry; especially if we do not have independent expertise ourselves;
- Continue to build on the strong relationship we have with the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service. We also welcome the involvement of specialist advocacy services:
- Liaise with other health and social care providers where they may have been involved in the matter and send you a combined response letter.
Our promise to you
When we receive an enquiry or concern, you can expect us to do the following:
- PALS will contact you by the end of the next working day at the latest - within our PALS team working office hours, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays); and the complaints team will contact you within three working days - within our working office hours, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays);
- Help you to find the best way of resolving your problem or getting an answer to your question;
- Deal with your enquiry in confidence;
- See you at a time and place that suits you;
- Keep you updated on the progress of your enquiry and any action we intend to take;
- Use information from your enquiry or concern to improve our services;
- Ask for your feedback and use this so that we can improve our services.
What we will do if we get it wrong
Although the Trust aims 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 situation with a senior manager, training officer or someone similar, 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;
- Report back to you on the action we have taken;
- Work closely with any other agency involved so that we can offer a ‘joined-up' approach.
Ensure that the lessons we have learned are shared across our organisation to improve the experience of other patients