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Making a Complaint

Making a complaint:

You can submit a complaint in whichever way is convenient to you:

  • By e-mail at PHT.Complaints@porthosp.nhs.uk
  • By telephone on 02392 286 000 (EXT 3474/3472)
  • In writing addressed to:
    Complaints Department
    De La Court House
    Queen Alexandra Hospital
    Southwick Hill Road
    PO6 3LY
  • Or addressed to:
    Chief Executive
    Trust Headquarters
    Queen Alexandra Hospital
    Southwick Hill Road
    PO6 3LY

What should I say?

  • Please give as much relevant information as possible, including your name and date of birth, address and telephone number.   If relevant, please also include the name of the doctor caring for you, the ward name and your hospital number.
  • Try to say something as soon as possible after the event that was the cause of the problem.  This makes it easier for everyone to remember what happened, and helps us to respond quickly. All complaints should be made within twelve months of the date of the incident.
  • If you are raising more than one concern, it helps to number each point.  This helps us to make sure we answer all of your concerns.
  • If you are making a complaint on behalf of someone else, we will usually need their full name and date of birth along with a short letter, signed by the patient, confirming that they have given permission for us to provide you with details about their treatment or care.

Consent is not required if you are complaining about:

  • Your child's care if they are under the age of 16.
  • The care of an elderly relative or vulnerable patient who is unable to give consent, although you must advise us of the nature of the disability.
  • A relative who has died, as long as you are the next of kin or a close relative and would have a clear interest in their care.



Making a complaint if you are deaf or hard of hearing.



What happens next?

Keeping you informed is a high priority so once we have received your complaint we will try to contact you within three working days to clarify the issues to be addressed.  An acknowledgement letter will also be sent to you along with a Complaints leaflet and our contact details so that you can contact us directly if you have any concerns about the investigation. 

Each complaint will be carefully investigated.  This process may involve speaking to Trust staff involved in your case and, sometimes, looking at medical records.  It is your right to refuse us access to your medical records but that may prevent us from investigating your complaint fully.

You will be offered the opportunity to meet with staff to talk about your complaint if you think this would be helpful.  You do not have to accept this offer but sometimes it is the best way to resolve concerns quickly.  Should you decide to take up the offer of a meeting, you may bring a relative, friend, an advocate or a member of the Complaints Team will support you through the process.

We aim to respond to all complaints within 30 working days and provide an assurance of what action we are taking to make sure the problem you raised does not happen again.  We will always do our best to give you a full reply as quickly as possible, however, it may take us longer to investigate your complaint fully, especially if the issues you have raised are complicated.  If that is the case, we will agree with you an extended time scale for our reply and will keep you informed of the progress being made.

What if I am still not happy?

If you are not satisfied with our reply, you may in the first instance contact either the Chief Executive or the nominated Complaints Officer so that we can work with you until we reach a satisfactory conclusion.  If, at the end of our investigation, you are still not satisfied you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) to review your case.

The role of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

The second stage of the NHS Complaints investigation process is the responsibility of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman considers complaints about poor treatment or services throughout the NHS in England.  The service is independent, impartial and free. The Ombudsman does not have to investigate every complaint, but will usually do so if there is clear evidence of hardship or injustice.

If you wish to raise a complaint with the Ombudsman please complete the form using the following link www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint.

If you require assistance completing the form or need any other advice about their service, please contact:

Telephone: 03450 154 033 from 8:30am - 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.


You can also contact your local Healthwatch (advocates) or Support Empower Advocate Promote (SEAP) about the services you have received if you need independent support through the NHS complaints process. Visit their website or use the information provided below http://www.seap.org.uk/

Support Empower Advocate Promote Hastings (SEAP) 
Upper Ground floor
Aquila House
Breeds Place
TN34 3AY

Tel: 0330 440 9000
Email: info@seap.org.uk

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Last updated - 22 August 2019
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