Our trust values
University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Making a Complaint

If there is an aspect of your care or some service that you haven’t been satisfied with, please let us know as soon as possible.

The Trust is committed to working with you to undertake an open and thorough investigation into your concerns and achieving a satisfactory resolution. However, we recognise that making a complaint can be difficult and so we want to ensure you have the right level of information and support throughout the process.This is explained in the leaflet ‘Have Your Say’.

Contacting us

UHD: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 0300 019 8499

If you prefer, you can write to Laura Northeast, Head of Patient Experience, or alternatively, to the Trust's Chief Executive, Siobhan Harrington, at the address below.

Patient Experience Centre
University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust
Poole Hospital
Longfleet Road
BH15 2JB

More help with your complaint

The Advocacy People: 0330 440 9000

NHS Dorset: 0130 536 8926

What happens next?

Many concerns and questions can be resolved quickly and easily. Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) will listen to your concerns and discuss how best to support you in finding answers or to consider alternative solutions through working with the staff involved in your care.

The PALS team are also a gateway to the complaints process. If the team believes there is a way to resolve your concerns fairly and quickly, as an alternative to undertaking a more formal complaint investigation, they will discuss this with you. The team will use their experience to explore options and make suggestions to help resolve the issues.

Alternatively, a more formal process of investigating your complaint may be the best option. Or this may be your preferred option.

Whether your complaint is resolved informally or is the subject of a more formal investigation, where it is found that something did not meet the expected standard we will tell you what the team or service are going to do to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again.

Investigating your complaint

You will be contacted by one of our team who will have been assigned to advise you how best to proceed. Where possible, we would prefer to speak with you before we start the investigation so we can:

  • Talk to you about your complaint and check that we understand the key issues and how they have affected you
  • Tell you how to contact independent help from The Advocacy People
  • Find out what you are expecting from our investigation and how best we can resolve your concerns
  • Agree with you the issues we will look at, explain how we will gather all the information we need and how long we think this will take

Other things you should know

  • At UHD we support the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) approach to acceptable behaviour. We value the importance of effective communication and as such we adhere to a commitment of acceptable behaviour which can be found here: Our Commitment to Acceptable behaviour
  • A complaint should be made within 12 months of the event happening or within 12 months of you becoming aware of the impact of the event.
  • If you are a relative or visitor, it may be necessary for us to know the patient is happy for you to act on their behalf. If your enquiry relates to confidential information about the patient’s care or treatment, we will usually ask the patient to complete a consent form so we can share the outcome of the investigation with you. This is simply because we have a duty to protect every patient's right to confidentiality concerning their clinical treatment

What we will do next

Once we have all the information we need, we will carefully consider what happened and compare this to what should have happened. We may need to contact you again to check out other things so that we can conclude our investigation. Where it is found that something did not meet the expected standard, we will tell you what the team or service are going to do to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again.

The chief executive, Siobhan Harrington, or a member of her executive team will write to you explaining the outcome of the investigation. We aim for the written response to your complaint to be open and thorough by explaining what happened, apologising for anything that fell below the expected standard and telling you about any improvements the service has or will make as a consequence of your complaint.

If you do not feel that the Trust's letter has answered your questions properly, please contact the person named in your reply letter, explaining why you are not happy and what you would like the Trust to do.

When the Trust’s complaint process has come to an end, we will explain this to you. If you’re not happy with how we’ve dealt with your complaint, and would like to take the matter further, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman makes final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS.

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