Compliments, Concerns and Complaints
We welcome any feedback about your experiences of our care, such feedback is important as it gives us the opportunity to review services. This helps us to make sure we are offering appropriate services that are right for your needs. We would like to know if you are unhappy with the service provided or if you think we have done something well. We are also interested if you have suggestions on how we could do something differently.
You may also want to leave your feedback on the NHS Choices website.
Who can help me if I have issues or concerns?
Sometimes things don’t always go just as you would like them to, and there are several ways you can raise concerns. If your complaint is a medical matter, ask to meet the nurse or doctor in charge. Hospital patients may also like to ask to meet their consultant. You can also ask to speak to the ward/department manager or Matron, who will do their best to resolve your concerns. In our experience an early meeting where you can discuss your concerns thoroughly often resolves issues speedily to everyone’s satisfaction. Misunderstandings can easily happen and by bringing this to someone’s attention, they can just as easily be put right.
PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)
It may be that you do not want to discuss your concerns with staff or their manager, or you may have tried this and you are still unhappy, then please ask to speak to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).
The PALS team are here to help you. They provide a confidential advice, support and information service for patients, relatives and carers. The PALS team can help by:
- Supporting you through what is often an anxious time as a patient, relative, friend or visitor.
- Providing advice and information on NHS services
- Actively listening and responding to concerns, suggestions or queries to help resolve them quickly.
- Advising on the complaints process if you wish to make a complaint, and how to seek independent advice.
- Record and log comments and concerns, so that we can identify any themes and use them to learn from.
The PALS Office is in the main entrance of the hospital. The office is open from Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 16:30- excluding bank and public holidays.
If for any reason you cannot immediately speak to a PALS officer, you may prefer to contact them by telephone on: 01204 390193. An answer service is available. You can also email PALS: PALS@boltonft.nhs.uk or you can write to them at:
Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
If you decide you want to make a complaint
You have the right to make a complaint about any aspect of care provided by the Trust. If you are not satisfied with our attempts to resolve your concerns with ward, clinic or department managers, and decide to make a complaint, this should normally be no more than twelve months after the event you are complaining about.
You can contact one of our Patient Experience Coordinators or write directly to the Patient Experience Manager.
By putting your complaint in writing, it gives you the opportunity to consider the questions you wish to be addressed, along with their desired outcome, all of which are very helpful in assisting us to resolve complaints. Please provide a telephone number when submitting a complaint, as a member of our Patient Experience team will contact you to discuss how you would like your complaint to be handled. We will also acknowledge your complaint within three working days.
PALS can be contacted by telephone on 01204 390193
Or you can write directly to the Patient Experience Manager:
Patient Experience Manager, Bolton NHS Foundation Trust
Davenport House, Royal Bolton Hospital
BL4 0 JR
Anyone making a complaint can receive free independent advice and support from specialist advocacy services if they wish. The NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICA) supports and represents individuals complaining about the NHS. ICA can:
- Give you advice about making a complaint
- Support you in drafting letters
- Represent you or attend meetings with you
They can be contacted by telephone on 0808 801 0390
We would always try to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction. However, if you remain dissatisfied when we have concluded the handling of your complaint locally, it is open to you to contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), dame Julie Mellor DBE, to ask that she investigates your complaint further. She will not usually investigate unless you have complained to the trust and had a final response. Their contact details are:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Telephone: 0345 015 4033
Email: phso.enquiries @ombudsman.org.uk