Compliments Comments and Complaints

Comments, compliments and complaints

We aim to provide the highest standards of care for people using our services. If you have a comment, compliment or complaint to make about your experience of using our services, we would be glad to hear from you.

We will do our best to help resolve any concerns you may have, and your feedback will help us to improve the services we provide. As well as letting us know if you are unhappy about something, it is good to let us know what we are doing well.

The Trust encourages complainants to speak openly and freely about their concerns. We would like to reassure you that you will not be discriminated against for making a complaint against the organisation.

Who can help me?

It is always best to raise any concerns or queries as soon as possible, so speak to a member of staff, your health professional, or ward manager in the first instance if possible.

If you would prefer to speak to someone else, you can contact the Patient Experience Team who can:

  • provide confidential, on-the-spot advice and support
  • help resolve concerns about the care we provide
  • provide information on advocacy.

Write to:

The Patient Experience Team
Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Carleton Clinic
Cumwhinton Drive

Freephone: 0800 633 55 47
Text:              07827 312 699

How do I make a formal complaint?

There are a number of ways you can make a formal complaint.


Write a letter to:

Chief Executive, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation
Trust, Voreda, Portland Place, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7QQ

Telephone:              01228 602128
Send an email:

The Complaints / PALS Manager can also be contacted as outlined above. You may prefer to discuss your complaint face to face with the Complaints / PALS Manager. If so, contact us to request a meeting.

When you make your complaint you need to tell us:

  • what the problem was/is
  • when and where it happened
  • your full name and address
  • the patient’s name, if you are complaining on behalf of someone else
  • what you would like to happen

It is helpful if you give us a telephone number or e-mail address we can contact you on, as this often helps to speed up dealing with your complaint.

Advocacy services can offer support to patients and carers who wish to pursue a complaint about their NHS treatment and care. This service is free, confidential and independent. If you require further information please contact our team who will be happy to provide this for you.

Can I make a complaint for someone else?

Yes – however, if you are making a complaint on behalf of another person, you need to make sure that the other person knows you are doing this and agrees with the complaint. We must get their permission to deal with the matter. If the person you are complaining for is unable to understand, we will discuss this with you before a decision is made about what to do.

Please contact the Complaints / PALS Manager for further advice about capacity, consent and the complaints procedure on 01228 602128 or 602020.

When should I complain?

You should complain as soon as possible after you notice a problem. The NHS will only investigate complaints made:

  • within twelve months of the event happening
  • within twelve months of you realising you need to complain – ideally this should not be more than one year from the event happening. These time limits however can be waived if there are good reasons why you could not make the complaint sooner.

What will happen when I make a formal complaint

We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days of receiving it. A manager will then investigate your complaint. The Trust aims to resolve complaints as quickly as possible and issue a response within a maximum of 35 working days unless an extended timescale is agreed with a complainant. If any agreed timescales are unable to be met due to exceptional circumstances, we will provide the complainant with a progress report and agree an extended timescale.

What about confidentiality?

Everyone in the NHS has a duty to protect confidentiality. However, information from your health records may have to be shared with clinical and managerial staff investigating your complaint. All information relating to complaints is stored securely and separately from your health records.

What if I am not happy with the response to my complaint?

If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint, you have the right to ask the Health Service Ombudsman to review your case. The Health Service Ombudsman carries out independent investigations into complaints about the NHS in England.

Write to:

Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank,

London SW1P 4QP

Telephone: 0345 0154033