Complaints and concerns

If you have a concern about your care or treatment, or any of our services, in the first instance please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who can provide immediate help, advice and support and they will do their best to help you to resolve the problem.

While most people are happy with the care they receive, sometimes this is not always the case. It is often possible to resolve concerns or complaints when they arise, by talking to the staff immediately involved. Staff will do their best to sort out the problem as quickly as possible. Information about you is kept confidential and complaining will not influence or affect any further care and treatment. If it is not possible to resolve the matter in this way, they may ask you whether they can involve a more senior member of staff.

We understand that sometimes you may prefer to talk to someone not directly involved in your care, and on these occasions you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

Complaints procedure

Complaints can be made in writing (including by email) or verbally, and may be made on your behalf by someone else (we would need your consent first if we need to disclose confidential information to investigate the complaint – this is to protect your confidentiality). You can address your complaint letter (or email) to the Chief Executive.

If staff have been unable to resolve your concerns and you feel you wish to make a complaint, please put this in writing to:

Chief Executive
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
St. Anne’s House
729 The Ridge
St. Leonards-on-Sea
East Sussex, TN37 7RD

(01424) 755255 ext: 2335 or 7063

If you are sending us any correspondence, please confirm your name, address and contact number, and if different the name and address of the person who your concerns relate to. A member of the Complaints Department will contact you to acknowledge your complaint and discuss how we propose to investigate your concerns.

Because of patient confidentiality, we may need to contact the patient to confirm the issues you have raised can be investigated on their behalf.

The complaints process will require an investigation to be carried out and the trust normally expects to send a written response to you from the Chief Executive in thirty working days. However, this may vary, depending upon the complexity of the matters raised.

Will complaining make things worse

The trust values complaints as a way of looking to improve the services and standards of care we provide the public. Anyone making a complaint can rest assured that they should not receive any adverse treatment from staff in relation to a complaint they have made.

Support when making a complaint

The Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy Service provided by SEAP Advocacy is able to offer support to anyone wanting to make a complaint about their NHS care/treatment. This can either be through their self-help pack (available on their website) or through working with an Advocate.

Independent NHS Complaint Advocacy Service
PO Box 375
East Sussex
TN34 9HU

What if I am not satisfied with the response?

In the first instance, it is advisable to contact the Complaints Department as they may be able to help. While we will do all we can to provide a satisfactory response, you may still feel your concerns have not been fully addressed. If this is the case, you can seek a review by the Ombudsman.

NHS Ombudsman
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower

To find out more

  • Ask staff for a copy of our PALS leaflet.
  • Call in at the PALS Office, in main reception.