If you have a comment or complaint about our services, we would like to know. We aim to provide the best possible care for out patients and your views will help us to get things right.
Giving praise where it's due...
Most patients are grateful for the care they are given. If you feel that someone deserves special praise or thanks, please let us know by writing to the Chief Executive at Trust Headquarters, Burton Road, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 7RG.
Suggestions about the way in which we might improve our services are helpful too. Your comments will be passed to the staff concerned.
It is also possible to leave compliments via the NHS Choices website. You will need to register your details to leave feedback on your opinions and experiences of our services. You can do so by clicking here.
Expressing your concerns
We respect and value the views of all those who have had cause to use our services. Should you be unhappy with any aspect of your experience, either as a patient or as a relative/carer, we hope you will feel able to tell us so that we can take any necessary action to improve our service for the future. Making a complaint will not be detrimental to your current or future care.
Who can complain
- Current or past patients of the Trust
- Patients’ representatives (e.g. relatives, friends or carers) acting with the patient’s written consent.
- People acting on behalf of deceased patients, generally the next of kin, or someone with the consent of the next of kin.
Time limits for making a complaint
- Complaints should, ideally, be made as soon as possible after the event complained of.
- No later than 12 months after the event or 12 months after the date of becoming aware that there may be cause for complaint.
How to complain
- It is best to raise concerns as soon as they occur, preferably with the staff concerned, or their manager, so that the issue can be addressed as soon as possible. If necessary, the Matron for the area can be contacted and will be happy to help.
- We recognise that you may not always feel comfortable speaking directly to the staff involved, and if this is the case, you may contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and they will assist you. PALS can be contacted via the ward or department staff or on their central telephone number, 01539 795497.
- If you remain unhappy, you can contact the Customer Care Department and your concerns can be investigated under the NHS Complaints Regulations (2009). You can make your complaint electronically by email or in writing. If you are unable to put your complaint in writing we will be able to assist you by recording your verbal complaint. The email address is: CommentsandComplaints@mbht.nhs.uk Please include a contact telephone number so we can call you if necessary.
What happens next?
- A member of the Customer Care team will try and contact you by telephone to discuss your concerns and how they can be dealt with; they will also discuss with you how long this is likely to take. If this is not possible, you will be sent a letter explaining how we intend to investigate and feedback to you, and giving contact details of the Case Officer should you wish to discuss your complaint with them.
- It may be that your discussion with Customer Care staff identifies that a telephone call from the manager in charge of the relevant service would address your problems. You may want an apology, or to meet to talk about your concerns or for a full investigation to be undertaken and a written response to be sent. These are examples of possible ways to address your concerns.
- We will keep you updated regarding the progress of our enquiries and will agree with you how often you want us to do this and by what means.
- We will provide you with the details of the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) which is a free, confidential service, independent of the Trust. ICAS is available to any complainant who feels they would appreciate support in pursuing their concerns regarding NHS services. In this area it is provided by the Carers Federation and the contact number is 0300 456 8350.
- If you have particular problems or a disability we will assist you in providing the help and information you need.
- We contact complainants within 3 working days of receiving their complaint.
- As explained above, we will agree a timescale with you for investigating and responding to your complaint.
- When we first contact you we will agree how we will respond to your complaint which may be by a phone call from Customer Care or another department, a meeting with senior staff, or a letter following investigation of your concerns.
- We will keep you updated as to the progress of our enquiries by the means agreed with you on receipt of your complaint.
- If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint, please let us know. It may well be that we can agree further action to address any outstanding issues. For example, if we have responded in writing, you may feel that a meeting is subsequently required with appropriate staff.
- We will endeavour to resolve your concerns at the local level but if we believe we have tried all reasonable means, or if you feel unable to accept our offers for further local action but remain dissatisfied you can request a review by the Ombudsman.
PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)
Telephone: 01539 795497
Customer Care Department
Westmorland General Hospital
Telephone: 01539 716621
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Advocacy Services to assist people in making a complaint to the NHS
Advocacy Services offer a free and confidential service that is independent of the NHS and tailored to individual client need. Their staff can also support you through the NHS complaints process.
For the Cumbria area, please contact:-
For the North Lancashire area, please contact:-