Complaints, Comments and Compliments
Staff in the Western Trust work very hard to provide all patients and clients with the highest possible care and treatment. But with many thousands of patient and client contacts every year, sometimes things don’t always go to plan. When that happens, it’s important that you tell us so that we can try and put things right.
If our performance is not up to standard or it you are unhappy, we need to know so that we can learn and improve the quality of services we provide. We will take your complaint seriously and treat it in confidence.
Making a complaint does not affect your rights and will not result in the loss of any service you have been assessed as requiring.
More information about how you can make a complaint is explained below and in our Complaints Leaflet and Children’s Order Complaints Leaflet. We also have translated versions of our Complaints leaflet in Latvian, Polish, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Lithuanian and Portuguese and a version for people with a Learning Disability (Makaton Version).
Read more about our performance in dealing with complaints in our annual reports:
- Western Trust 2018/19 Complaints Annual Report
- Western Trust 2017/18 Complaints Annual Report
- Western Trust 2015/16 Complaints Annual Report
- Western Trust 2014/15 Complaints Annual Report
- Western Trust 2013/14 Complaints Annual Report
- Western Trust 2012/13 Complaints Annual Report
- Western Trust 2011/12 Complaints Annual Report
Who Can Complain?
Anyone who uses any of our services can complain. You can also complain on someone else’s behalf, although you will generally need their consent.
How To Complain?
You can make your complaint in the way that best suits you. This can be face to face, on the telephone, in a letter or by email. You should try to provide us with details of:
- how to contact you;
- who or what you are complaining about;
- where and when the event that caused your complaint happened; and
- where possible, what action you would like us to take.
Alternatively you can complete a Complaints Form and send to our office.
You should try to complain as soon as possible, usually within 6 months of you becoming aware that you have a cause for complaint and normally no longer than 12 months after the event.
If you are unhappy with something, you can speak to any of the staff who are dealing with your treatment or care and they will try to resolve your concerns straight away. If they can’t, they will tell you what to do next.
If you don’t want to do that, or if you have done it and you are still unhappy, you should contact the Complaints Manager at:
Altnagelvin Area Hospital
Tel: 028 7134 5171 – extension: 214142
Or Direct Dial No. 028 7161 1226
SMS Text Facility: 077 8094 9796
Our Complaints Manager can provide you with more information on how to make a complaint. Alternatively, the Patient and Client Council can provide free and confidential advice, information and help to make a complaint. This might include help with writing letters, making telephone calls and supporting you at any meetings you might need to attend.
You can get more information on the services provided by the Patient and Client Council or by phoning freephone 080 0917 0222.
Specialist advocacy services may also be available to help you through the process of complaining. Our Complaints Manager or the Patient and Client Council will be able to provide you with further details of this support.
What Will Happen Next?
Your complaint will be acknowledged within 2 working days of receipt. We will aim to respond to your complaint in full within 20 working days. Some complaints take longer to resolve than others. We will tell you if it becomes clear that we can’t respond within these timescales, and we will explain why.
What To Do If You’re Still Not Happy?
If you are not happy with our response to your complaint, you can contact us again and we will do our best to resolve your concerns.
If you remain unhappy, you can refer your complaint to the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Complaints (the Ombudsman). The Ombudsman will consider your complaint to determine whether it warrants investigation by him.
Further information on the services provided by the Ombudsman is available by contacting:
Freepost NIPSO (Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman)
33 Wellington Place,
Belfast, BT1 6HN
Complaints About Regulated Establishments e.g. Nursing Or Residential Homes.
If your complaint relates to a placement we have made in an establishment such as a nursing or residential home, you can complain to the provider of care or, if you prefer, you can raise your concerns with us.
If you are not happy with the response you receive, you can refer your complaint to the Ombudsman.
The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority will monitor how complaints about regulated services are handled.
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Where Can I Find Out More?
More information on the complaints procedure is also available on the Department of Health website. You can also visit the Northern Ireland Ombudsman website or download the NI Ombudsman framework for effective complaint handling ‘Rights, Responsibility and Redress’.
A guide on how to make a complaint
How do I make a Compliment?
You can make a compliment to the Patients Advocate in writing or by email:
Altnagelvin Area Hospital
We will use your compliments to highlight good practice and will pass them on to the relevant staff and department.
The Children (NI) Order, 1995 Representation and Complaint Procedure
The Trust is committed to providing it’s children and young people’s treatment, care, and services in partnership with children, young people, parents, and carers.
We want to give you the best possible service. We want to treat everyone with respect and courtesy at all times. In most cases we do, but sometimes things go wrong. When that happens, we want to hear about it so we can try and put things right. Visit the Children’s Order Complaints page to find out more about this process.
- Complaint Form – English
- Complaint Form – Polish
- Complaint Form – Latvian
- Complaint Form – Chinese Cantonese
- Complaint Form – Chinese Mandarin
- Complaint Form – Lithuanian
- Complaint Form – Portuguese
- Complaint Form – Children’s Services