It’s best to raise any concern you have as soon as possible. You can speak to any of our staff about it but it’s 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're not able to resolve concerns using the methods above, you can write to 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
In your letter, please include:
- 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
- politely outline the problem
- when and where it happened
- if you have more than 1 issue please list and number your concerns
- what you’d like to happen as a result of making your complaint
- if complaining on someone’s behalf, their written consent of the complaint
If you’d likeconfidential help or advice to write your letter, you can contact any of our Patient, Advice & Liaison Service.
You can also get independent advice and support from:
Where to send your letter
If you’re complaining about something that has happened at Cumberland Infirmary, West Cumberland Hospital or one our community hospitals, clinics or community based services you can either write to us at 1 of 2 adresses below or email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
- Complaints Manage
The Cumberland Infirmary
- Chief Executive
North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust
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.
What happens next?
We’ll 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 specifiy 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.
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.