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Making a complaint

Your complaint matters to us at Barts Health and we are committed to providing a high quality service for all our patients, and will do everything possible to make sure that your visit to our hospital is as comfortable as possible.

We are constantly developing the services we provide for patients and visitors, and would welcome your input.

If you’d like to make a comment or complaint, please do one of the following:

Make an appointment

Please contact the Central Complaints Team to make an appiontment to meet someone in person. Our opening hours are Monday to Friday, 9am–4.30pm.

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Taking your complaint further

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)

The role of the PHSO is to investigate complaints from patients or their relatives about being treated unfairly and concerns about receiving a poor service from government departments and other public organisations including the NHS.

Since 1 October 2012, 61 of the complaints received by the Trust were reviewed by the PHSO. 36 cases have been closed since then and 25 are still open, but are at various stages of the investigation process. 

17 cases are either being investigated or are awaiting allocation to a PHSO investigator, 1 case is at the draft report stage and 7 final reports have been received and the recommendations are being implemented within the timescale the PHSO stipulated.

Of the 36 cases which have now been closed, 9 were upheld 10 were partially upheld and 17 were not upheld.

Published stage 2 complaints

The PHSO reports to Parliament from time to time on individual and/or systemic examples of maladministration in the NHS.

In the last two years, 3 of the Trusts complaints were published and a summary of the cases can be found on:

Case 1 related to our Neonatology Service at the Royal London Hospital and identified service failures resulting in injustice to a patient.  The PHSO recommended that the Trust should:

  • apologise to the patient’s family for the failings identified
  • carry out a root cause investigation, to identify the reasons for the failings
  • complete an action plan detailing what will be done to address the findings from the root cause investigation

Case 2 related to our ear, nose and throat specialty and the subsequent handling of a complaint about cancellation of planned surgery, which resulted in a dispute between the patient and a member of staff. The PHSO’s final report indicated that the Trust failed to respond reasonably to the patient’s complaint. They considered that this represented maladministration and recommended that the Trust should:

  • apologise to the complainant and acknowledge that the responses from the Trust were inadequate
  • prepare an action plan to address the failings identified

Case 3 related to our gynaecology service and the management of a complaint made by a patient about confusion over consent. The PHSO’s report stated that although the appropriate procedure was carried out, the patient was not given clear enough information in advance, to enable her to provide informed consent.

The Trust agreed with the PHSO’s findings in all the cases and implemented appropriate actions. These included; apologising for the complainants’ experience, developing a standard operating procedure to address the issue of inadequate complaints management, sharing anonymised complaints and action plans with staff as part of embedding the learning from complaints, policy reviews and departmental education for staff in completing root cause analysis investigations.

More information about the Trust’s stage 2 complaints can be obtained by contacting the   Trust’s Central Complaints Team on 0207 480 4776 or 4719 or from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s website here.

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NHS Complaints Advocacy

NHS Complaints Advocacy provides practical support and information to people who want to complain about an NHS Service.

If you would like the NHS Complaints Advocacy to support you independent of the Trust to help you make your complaint, you can contact the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service by visiting their website here.

This service is independent of the NHS and is free and confidential.

To talk to someone at the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service contact:

Tel: 0300 330 5454, Monday to Friday 9-5pm
Text phone: 0786 002 2939
Email: nhscomplaints@voiceability.Org
Write to: NHS Complaints Advocacy VoiceAbility, Mount Pleasant House, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 ORN

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Citizens Advice Bureau/Macmillan Welfare Rights Service

The City of London Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) runs a CAB/Macmillan Welfare Rights Service for inpatients and outpatients being treated for cancer at Bart’s Hospital. The service provides these patients with free, impartial, independent and confidential advice and assistance on their benefit options and entitlements. The service aims to give people with cancer access to welfare rights advice as soon as possible after they are diagnosed with the illness, before any financial difficulties can set in.

To access the service either speak to a member of staff or contact the Welfare Rights Helpline on: 020 7332 0123.

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Tell us your story

We want to hear your story about your experience in using our services.

Your story can be used to help us to understand our patients’ and carers’ perspective of health care, find out how you can tell us your story.

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