Customer Services Team
Welcome – your experience matters and we are here for you. We welcome your feedback.
Here at SSSFT our Customer Services Team aims to:
- Advise and support service users, carers and families.
- Provide information on NHS services and social care.
- Listen to your concerns, suggestions or queries.
- Be open to any comments or suggestions you may have and we’ll be delighted to receive your compliments.
- Help to sort out problems quickly on your behalf, and put you in touch with other sources of help.
How do I Make a Complaint?
Stage 1 – Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
The PALS Team will listen to your concerns or complaints and advise how they will be able to help. The team provides information and “on-the-spot-help” to service users and carers. PALS will work to resolve any concerns promptly and will take measures to ensure that, where appropriate, policies and working practices are amended so that the issues do not arise again.
All concerns are important to us and treated in a confidential manner, ensuring that your concern does not affect your current or future treatment.
By listening to and acting on service users' and carers' comments, the aim of PALS is to be influential in improving standards of care.
You can also contact PALS if you wish to let us know if you are satisfied with our services.
How to contact PALS to make a suggestion, comment or compliment, or to raise a concern or complaint
- Complete the form at the bottom of this page
- If you feel you can, speak to any ward or community staff
- Contact PALS on the following number 01785 783026 between 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday (outside of these hours there is an automated answerphone service)
- Email PALS - email@example.com
- Complete the PALS section of the "Are you Satisfied – We're here to help" leaflet, which can be obtained from any member of staff and return it "freepost" to the address below.
Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
South Staffordshire Healthcare NHS Trust
St. George's Hospital
The PALS Team will acknowledge receipt of your concerns and to explain the process either verbally or by your chosen method of contact. PALS will be unable to assist any individual who is already pursuing the Formal Complaints process with the same issue. Additionally, PALS is unable to deal with any matter relating to a breach in the Law or Trust policy.
Stage 2 - Formal Complaints
We try to resolve all complaints as quickly and efficiently as possible and this is often via the PALS Team. However, you have a right to make a formal complaint without going through the Stage 1 process above or you may be unhappy with the response you received initially. You can of course in this instance request that your concerns or complaints are dealt with formally.
We are a learning organisation and complaints are really important to us; they help us to identify faults or areas for improvements.
We treat any complaint seriously and in complete confidence, ensuring your complaint does not affect your current or future treatment.
If you would like to make a complaint, this should normally be made within twelve months of the event you wish to complain about, or within twelve months of the date you found out about the problem. To do this, you can either:
1. Complete the "Complaints, Concerns and Compliments" form at the bottom of this page.
2. Send a letter, addressed to:
South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
St George's Hospital
Telephone Freephone 0800 318850 or 01785 783026 between 9.00am and 5.00pm (outside of these hours there is an answerphone)
3. Complete and forward by Freepost the Formal Complaints section of the "Are You Satisfied – We're here to help" leaflet, which is available in all premises or can be obtained from any member of staff.
We aim to:
- acknowledge your complaint either verbally or in writing within three working days following the date of receipt and will arrange for an Investigating Officer to contact you to discuss your concerns further
- investigate all issues raised with respect, fairness, confidentiality and without prejudice to the service user
- provide a full response by the method you would prefer, within the agreed timescale. If your preferred method of response is verbal (by telephone or a meeting), the content of this discussion will be confirmed in writing
- if you remain dissatisfied with our response or would like clarification, we can arrange for a senior officer of the Trust or the Investigating Officer to contact you.
Complaints about NHS service provision from 1 April 2013
As an alternative to making a complaint to the Trust directly, you may wish to contact NHS England or your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Further information can be obtained by visiting:
or by contacting the Customer Services Department on Freephone 0800 318850 or 01785 783026.
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
After we have taken all possible action to resolve your complaint locally, if you still remain dissatisfied, you can refer your complaint for consideration to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, by writing to:
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
You can also contact the Health Service Ombudsman from a textphone on 0300 061 4298 if you are deaf or have problems using a standard telephone.
NHS Complaints Advocacy
If you would like support in making your complaint, an Advocacy organisation may help you to do this. The Customer Services Team would be happy to provide you with this information but we hope you will find the details below helpful:
Staffordshire residents only
Healthwatch Staffordshire provide a free, independent and confidential health complaints advocacy service for residents of Staffordshire. This is a free service which offers some assistance with guiding you through the NHS Complaints process. Healthwatch Staffordshire is a specialist advocacy agency, with immense experience and can be contacted on 0800 161 5600. Information can be found here: http://healthwatchstaffordshire.co.uk/nhs-complaints/
This information leaflet is produced by Healthwatch Staffordshire:
NHS Complaints Advocacy Booklet
Shropshire residents only
Healthwatch Shropshire provide a free, independent and confidential health complaints advocacy service for residents of Shropshire. This is a free service which offers some assistance with guiding you through the NHS Complaints process. Healthwatch Shropshire is a specialist advocacy agency, with immense experience and can be contacted on 01743 237884. Information can be found here: http://www.healthwatchshropshire.co.uk/nhs-complaints-advocacy.
Telford and Wrekin Residents only
Telford and Wrekin Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service provide a free, independent and confidential health complaints advocacy service. This is a free service which offers some assistance with guiding you through the NHS Complaints process. This organisation can be contacted on 0800 161 5600. Information can be found here: firstname.lastname@example.org
For residents outside Staffordshire and Shropshire
Healthwatch Staffordshire is able to signpost you to your local confidential health complaints advocacy service. This is a free service which offers assistance with guiding you through the NHS Complaints process and can be contacted on 0800 161 5600 as above.
Feedback on the Service Received from Customer Services
If you have been in contact with the Customer Services Department, please fill in this short questionnaire regarding the service you received.
Care Quality Commission
If you are a service user detained under the Mental Health Act, as an alternative to using the Trust's Complaint's Procedure, you can ask the Care Quality Commission to take forward your concerns. An explanatory leaflet is available on all wards.