Appreciation, concerns and complaints

We would like to hear from you if you think we have done something well—our staff work hard to provide the best possible care and appreciate positive feedback. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our care we are also keen to hear from you. All feedback is seen as an opportunity to review our services, so that we can make sure we are offering services that are right for your needs. Please direct your compliment or concern to our PALS team.

Appreciation and feedback

If you would like to tell us about your experience, give thanks or comment on what we did well, please complete this simple form.

There are a number of ways you can get in touch with us and let us know how you feel about the care you have received at our hospitals, or your views about our services in general.

Alternatively, you can share your experiences with others by commenting on our services on NHS.uk.

If you have been particularly impressed by the care and treatment you have received, either from an individual or a team, and would like to make your thoughts known, you can also write to:

Chief Executive
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
369 Fulham Road
London
SW10 9NH

We will make sure that your letter is forwarded to the person or team in question.

Getting help

Sometimes things don’t always go just as you would like them to.

You have several options to raise concerns, but first of all we ask that you speak with the nurse in charge or the ward/department manager.  Many problems can be resolved quickly by talking things over. Misunderstandings can easily happen and sometimes just as easily put right.

If you have tried this and are still not satisfied, ask to speak to the matron, lead nurse or service manager for the area.

PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) 

If you do not want to discuss your concerns with the staff or their manager, or if you have tried this and are still unhappy, please speak to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).  

Our PALS team are here for you—providing confidential advice, information and support for patients, relatives and carers. PALS are available to assist with concerns and liaise with staff on your behalf, ensuring you receive an appropriate response.

The PALS team can:

  • Actively listen and respond to concerns, suggestions or queries to help make your experience as easy as possible
  • Provide information on NHS services
  • Offer advice on the complaints service and provide information on how to seek independent advice if you wish to make a complaint
  • Support you through an anxious time as a patient, relative, friend or visitor
  • Feed back your views to the Chief Executive and Trust Board
  • Help the organisation learn from your experiences and comments

Please see the PALS page for further information and how to get in touch.

We also have this information available in easy-read format with photos:

If you decide to make a complaint

You have the right to make a complaint about any aspect of care provided by our Trust. Many people find it useful to discuss concerns straight away with the ward or department, or with one of our PALS advisors. However, you do not need to have previously done this in order to make a formal complaint.

If you do decide to make a complaint, this should normally be no more that 12 months after the event you are complaining about.

Our experience has shown us that when someone puts their complaint in writing, it gives them the opportunity to really consider the questions they wish to be addressed along with their desired outcome, all of which are very helpful in assisting us to resolve complaint. 

You can contact one of our specialist patient advisors or write to:

Things to remember when making your complaint:

  • Normally complaints should be made within 12 months of the concern first being raised
  • All complaints are treated in confidence and will not compromise any future care you receive
  • To investigate your complaint, staff involved in the investigation may need to view your health records
  • Your complaint will only be shared with staff involved in the investigation and resolution
  • If you want to make a complaint on behalf of someone else, they will need to sign a consent form (provided by the complaints team) giving their permission before we can investigate

Complaints advocacy

If you require support to make a complaint, you can speak to a complaints advocacy organisation which helps people make complaints about NHS services.

What happens next?

We will always try to call you to discuss your complaint. We will acknowledge your concerns within two working days in a letter or email. We will then begin an investigation.

When will I receive a full reply? 

The Chief Executive will send you a written response within 25 working days explaining the outcome of the investigation and any actions taken. If we cannot respond fully within 25 working days we will contact you to explain why this is and will continue to update you regularly.

What if I’m not happy with the outcome?

Every effort will be made to resolve your complaint and we will do our best to make sure you are satisfied with the outcome of our investigation. However, if you still feel we haven’t addressed your concerns you may wish to take the matter to the Health Service Ombudsman.

You can email the Ombudsman at phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk or call 0345 015 4033.

If you require any independent assistance or support with the complaints process, you can contact the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service. This service provides free, independent and confidential help and advice. The NHS Complaints Advocacy Service has a wide range of information to support you or you can request an advocate to assist you. The NHS helpline telephone number is 0300 330 5454 and advice can also be found at nhscomplaintsadvocacy.org.

More information on the NHS complaints process is also available on NHS.uk.

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