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Health Complaints and Feedback

Health Complaints and Feedback

Our service to you

It is our job to make sure that you receive the right service at the right time when you become ill or have an accident, or to help you stay well. To do this we have contracts with a range of organisations that provide health care services, such as hospitals, community services, GP practices, Community pharmacies, dentists, opticians, community and voluntary organisations and the private sector.

We expect all organisations that we contract with to provide high quality care and we know that while most people are happy with the care they receive, this isn’t always the case.

Your feedback can help us

We know there are times when you may want to comment or complain about a service or to compliment the service or the staff involved. It is also important that services are made aware when things have gone well so we can promote good practice. In any service there is always scope for improvement and we will be pleased to receive any comments, suggestions or compliments you may have which can be considered in the future development of services.

Unfortunately sometimes things can go wrong and it is equally important that we know about this so we can try to put things right and prevent them from going wrong in the future.

Your rights

If you are not happy with the care or treatment you have received or you have been refused treatment for a condition, you have the right to complain, have your complaint investigated and be given a full and prompt reply. The NHS Constitution explains your rights when it comes to making a complaint: NHS Constitution for England - GOV.UK

You have the right to:

  • Have your complaint dealt with efficiently and properly investigated
  • Know the outcome of any investigation into your complaint
  • Take your complaint to the independent Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman if you are not satisfied with the way the NHS has dealt with your complaint.
  • Make a complaint for judicial review if you think you have been directly affected by an unlawful act or decision of an NHS body, and Receive compensation if you have been harmed
When should you make a complaint?

Complaints should normally be made within 12 months of the date of the event that you are complaining about, or as soon as the matter came to your attention. The time limit can sometimes be extended (so long as it is still possible to investigate the complaint.) An extension might be possible in situations where it would have been difficult for you to complain earlier, for example, when you are grieving or undergoing trauma.

How do you make a complaint?

If your complaint is about a hospital, community or mental health service you should send this to the NHS organisation involved.

For Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust please use this page: Complaints and comments.

For Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals please use this page: We welcome your feedback - Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

If your complaint is about a GP practice, dental practice, community pharmacy or optician you should send this to the practice concerned.

However, if you feel too uncomfortable to complain to the service provider directly then you can make a complaint to the commissioner of the services instead. NHS services are commissioned, planned and paid for by either NHS England or Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

NHS England is responsible for purchasing primary care services such as GPs, dentists, pharmacists, optical services and some specialised services, and you should contact them if you wish to complain about any of these services.

When you contact NHS England via email ( ensure you state ‘For the attention of the complaints manager’ in the subject line.

You should provide as much information as possible to allow NHS England to investigate your complaint, such as:

  • your name and contact details
  • a clear description of your complaint and any relevant times and dates
  • details of any relevant healthcare providers or services
  • any relevant correspondence, if applicable

Jubilee Road
Newcastle upon Tyne

Alternatively you can send your complaint to any of the CCGs by writing to:

NHS Newcastle Gateshead Alliance Riverside House
Newburn Riverside Business Park
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE15 8NY

If you have a complaint, comment or compliment relating to any of the hospitals within Newcastle NHS Foundation Trust or Community Health Services in Newcastle you can contact:

Patient Relations Team
Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
The Freeman Hospital
High Heaton
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel: 0191 2336161


If you have a complaint, comment or compliment relating to a service provided by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust you can contact:

Complaints Department at St Nicholas Hospital.

For secondary care including hospital treatments, emergency care and some community services like district nursing, you should contact your local CCG.

NHS Newcastle Gateshead Alliance is a partnership between three statutory organisations responsible for the planning and buying of local NHS care and services to meet the needs of the local community across Newcastle Gateshead.

The Alliance has been formed by the joining together in partnership of three Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs); all of which have their own mail box and can be contacted at:

Newcastle North and East; Newcastle West Gateshead

The complaints procedure

The Department of Health’s website has information about the NHS complaints procedure at:

Complaints procedure - Department of Health and Social Care - GOV.UK

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman(PHSO)

If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint, you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to review this. Find more information and contact details at:

Where can you get help and advice?

Making a complaint can be daunting but help and advice is available from:

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Officers from PALS are available in all hospitals. They offer confidential advice, support and information on health related matters to patients, their families and their carers. North of Tyne PALS can be contacted on 0800 032 0202 for Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland South of Tyne PALS can be contacted on 0800 328 4397, for Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland

Find out more at: About us - Healthwatch Newcastle

Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICA)

The ICA provides help and support to people who want to raise concerns about the NHS. The ICA can be contacted by:

Phone: 0808 802 3000



Healthwatch will help you and your family get the best from your local health and social care services. Healthwatch will tell services about your experience.