First steps

It is best to raise any concern you have as soon as possible. You can speak to any of our staff about your concerns, but it is best to start with the people involved in your care.

If you’d prefer not to do that, you can contact our Patient, Advice & Liaison Service (PALS). You can find their contact details here.

How to make a formal complaint

If you are not able to resolve concerns by speaking to staff or with our PALS team you can contact us and we’ll investigate the matter.

Please note that in most cases investigations can only take place into complaints made within 12 months of:

  • the event happening
  • you becoming aware of the event happening

If contacting us, please include the following information when raising concerns:

  • your full name, address, email and phone number
  • the patient’s name (if you’re complaining on behalf of someone else)
  • the patient’s date of birth and if relevant, their hospital number
  • outline your concerns
  • when and where it happened
  • what you’d like to happen as a result of making your complaint
  • if complaining on someone’s behalf we will liaise with you regarding consent or required paperwork.

You can also get independent advice and support (including raising your complaint) from:

How to contact the complaints team


Telephone: 01228 936302

or write to:

  1. Complaints Manager
    Parkhouse Building
    Kingmoor Park
    CA6 4SJ
  2. Chief Executive
    North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust
    Trust HQ
    Pillars Building
    Cumberland Infirmary
    Infirmary Street
    CA2 7HY

What happens next?

We will let you know we’ve received your complaint within 3 working days. Your complain will then be investigated.

Although there are no official time scales for providing a response, regulations specify that the complainant should be updated and informed of the reasons for the time taken in writing if there is no response with six months. We try to resolve complaints within 30 days. If we think it’s going to take longer than this to investigate, we’ll let you know.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

If you’re unhappy with our response to your complaint, you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to review your case.

You can do this by:

  • visiting their website and submitting an online complaint
  • visiting their website and downloading a complaint form
  • calling 03450 154033

The Ombudsman will only investigate your complaint after we’ve completed our own investigation and tried to resolve it. They are the last stage in the complaints process.


You can contact the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to raise concerns but CQC does not undertake investigations into individual complaints.

Confidentiality and non-discrimination

Everyone in the NHS has a duty to protect confidentiality. However, information from your health records may have to be shared with clinical and managerial staff investigating your complaint.

All information relating to complaints are stored securely and separately from your health records.

Patients, carers and relatives will not be discriminated against as a result of expressing concerns or making a complaint.