Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
show navigation

Making a Complaint

How to make a comment, compliment or a complaint

The staff of Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust are committed to providing our patients and visitors with services of the highest standard. We like to know how we well we provide our services for the public and like to hear from the people we treat.

We would like to encourage you to tell us how you feel, whether it was good, bad or you just want to get in touch. Please have a look at the different ways you can contact the Trust.

Talking it through

Although we work very hard to achieve high standards of service and care at all times, things can sometimes go wrong. Should this happen, we want to know and we will do all that we can to put things right and to make sure that  the same thing doesn't happen again, to you or someone else.

The following explains what to do if you have a comment, compliment or a complaint about the treatment or care received from Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

We take all comments and complaints very seriously and we have an open and honest approach to dealing with them. Please be assured that if you raise a concern or make a complaint or comment, your care will not be affected in any way.

If you are an inpatient, or are visiting an inpatient, the best person to talk to is the nurse in charge on the ward or the person in charge in the area.  If you are an outpatient, please ask the staff at any reception area to put you in touch with the member of staff you need to talk to.

You can also speak to the team directly. They ae based at the Queen Alexandra Hospital Main Entrance in the Health Information Centre, or you can call them on 0800 917 6039 or email PHT.PALS@porthosp.nhs.uk

The PALS Team can:

  • Advise and support you, your family, visitors and carer

  • Listen to your suggestions, queries and concerns

  • Help to sort out problems on your behalf

  • Provide information about NHS services

What if I am not satisfied?

If you are not satisfied with the response that you receive, please write to:

The Chief Executive,
Trust Headquarters,
Queen Alexandra Hospital,
Southwick Hill Road,


What should I say?

  • 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.  Ideally, all complaints should be made within twelve months of the date of the incident.

  • Please give as much relevant information as possible, including your name, address and telephone number.  If relevant, please also include the name of the doctor caring for you, the ward name and your hospital number.

  • 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 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

  • the care of an elderly relative who is unable to give consent, although you must advise us of the nature of the disability that prevents consent being given

  • a relative who has died as long as you are a close relative and would have a clear interest in their care

What happens next?

Keeping you informed is a high priority so we will try to acknowledge any written complaint within three working days.

Each complaint will be carefully investigated. This process may involve speaking to Trust staff involved in your case and, sometimes, looking at your medical records. It is your right to refuse us access to your medical records but that may prevent us from investigating your complaint fully.
There may also be occasions when you are offered a meeting to talk about your complaint with those involved in your care. You do not have to agree to this meeting but sometimes it is the best way to resolve concerns quickly and to your liking. Should you decide to take up the offer of a meeting, you may bring a relative, friend, ICAS representative or a member of the Patient and Customer Services Team, who can support you through the process.

The PALS Officer responsible for investigating your complaint will contact you to discuss the issues you have raised and to agree a timescale for the investigation.

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.

In our reply, we will try to tell you 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.

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 PALS Officer. If you remain dissatisfied, please contact us as soon as possible 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 to review your case.

The role of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

From the 1 April 2009 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 have any questions about whether the Ombudsman may be able to help you the contact details are:

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP

Enquiries: 0345 015 4033
Fax: 0300 061 4000
Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk


There is an Independent NHS complaints Advocacy Service at Healthwatch Portsmouth that is provided free of charge, is confidential and offers help to people wishing to make a complaint about an NHS service they received. The service is compassionate and client-led.  Anyone who lives within the postcode areas of PO1 – PO6 can access the free service, or on behalf of another person if they consent for you to do so, or in the case of a patient who has died their closest relative or personal representative.

For information or to make an appointment to speak with Fergus Cameron, Senior Advocate at Healthwatch Portsmouth. You can reach the service by:

Related content

Last updated - 15 May 2018
Working together to drive excellence in care for our patients and communities


Queen Alexandra Hospital
Cosham, Portsmouth
Tel: 023 9228 6000

© Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

This website is maintained by the PHT Web Team. If you have any questions about the website please get in touch