Complaints and compliments

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We welcome complaints, comments and suggestions. We also value your views and take them into account when planning for the future and trying to make improvements.

Compliments and complaints about NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

If you contact our chief executive officer with concerns about NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, your complaint will be passed to the complaints team. The team will contact you to discuss your concerns and determine the way forward. The complaints manager will ensure the chief executive officer is updated regarding your case.

Compliments and complaints about GPs, dentists, pharmacists and opticians

GPs, dentists, pharmacists and opticians are independent contractors and the law requires them to have their own complaints procedures. You should direct your complaint to them. However, if you have concerns about doing so, please contact NHS England.

Compliments and complaints about other local organisations

For complaints about other organisations, please contact the organisations direct.

Cornwall 111 (out of hours care)

Cornwall Council (adult social care)

Cornwall Council (children, schools and families)

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

How the complaints procedure works

Who can I complain to?

The general principle of the NHS complaints procedure is to complain to the organisation you consider to be at fault.

Who can complain?

You can complain if you have been affected, or are likely to be affected, by something NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly has or has not done. You can also complain on behalf of someone else if you have their permission in writing.

What is the time limit for making complaints?

You should complain within 1 year of the event happening or within 1 year of becoming aware of an event. This time limit can be extended if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier and it is still possible to investigate the complaint effectively and fairly.

First stage: local resolution

Local resolution aims to sort out your complaint quickly and fairly. Our complaints manager will talk to you about how to resolve your complaint. This will include setting a time limit for your complaint to be investigated and a response made. Please include your telephone number if you write to us so that we can contact you. If you have already complained to your healthcare provider, we will not be able to re-investigate the same concerns.

Second stage: independent review

If you are not happy with how we have dealt with your complaint, and would like to take the matter further, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. They make the final decisions on complaints that have not been satisfactorily resolved by public organisations. The service is free for everyone. To make a complaint, go to the Health Service Ombudsman website or call 0345 015 4033.

Where can I get more help?

If you feel unable to make a complaint about an NHS service on your own, or would like the support of someone independent, contact The Advocacy People. They provide a local health complaints advocacy service. You can also call them on 0330 440 9000. The service is free and independent of the NHS. Other advocacy providers may charge you for their services.

If you have a concern about a doctor, contact the General Medical Council. If you have a concern about nursing, contact the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Page last reviewed: 6 July, 2022

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