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Frequently asked questions

Yes, however you must only do this with their consent. 

As part of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) you will need:

  • A form of identification.
  • A consent form for signing with a copy of your letter will be sent to the patient to ask them for written consent to act.
  • The patient needs to have capacity to understand what they are signing. If the patient does not have capacity, the person legally charged with looking after their affairs can agree to the complaint being made. 

Evidence will need to be provided to confirm any authority, such as a Power of Attorney (POA). 

Personal identification needs to be submitted in the form of a birth or marriage certificate in the following circumstances:

  • If the patient is 16 years old or over, they can make the complaint themselves.

If the patient is under 16 years of age, a birth certificate showing you are the guardian will need to be submitted to identify that you have the authority to act on their behalf.  In addition to this, personal identification will also need to be submitted such as driving license or passport.

If the patient is deceased, you will need to provide evidence that you have the right to act on their behalf.  These include:

  • Copy of your birth certificate.
  • A marriage certificate to prove you were married to the deceased.

A copy of a ‘Will’ identifying you as the executor or beneficiary.

Contact us as soon as possible after the event and within 12 months of the event happening or within 12 months of discovering you have cause to complain.

Complaints received outside of these timescales may be investigated if there is a good reason why the complaint could not be made earlier.

We welcome complaints because it is how we learn where things are not going as well as we hoped they would.  Telling us what you are not happy with gives us the opportunity to put things right and spread that learning amongst the Trust and sometimes other organisations.

If you make a complaint you will not be discriminated against in any way. Any information you give will be treated in confidence and with sensitivity.  Information about your complaint will always be kept separate from your medical records.

No. There will be no reference to any complaint in your medical notes.

Independent complaints advocacy organisations can give advice and information and can support you in making your complaint.  This could be by helping you write a complaint letter or attending a meeting with you.  This is a confidential, free and totally independent of the NHS service.  Details are in the complaints leaflet.

  • Claims for compensation are not dealt with by the Trust.
  • All claims for compensation are referred directly to National Health Service Resolution (NHSR). NHSR are an arm’s length body of the Department of Health and Social Care and their role is to resolve claims fairly on behalf of the NHS and they represent the Trust’s interests in all clinical negligence claims.  
  • If seeking compensation for clinical negligence, it is recommended you seek independent advice from an experienced clinical negligence solicitor. This is because clinical negligence claims and the claims process can be very complex.  Recommendations for specialist solicitors are on the Law Society Website or ‘Action Against Medical Accidents’
  • NHSR have produced a helpful guide for claimants who do not intend to instruct a solicitor. This explains how you can make a claim for compensation.

A letter template is available for you to use which sets out the information you need to provide when writing a letter of claim.  A link to the guidance is included here:

Specialist independent free advice is available from Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) at  Freephone 0845 123 2352, Monday to  Friday 10.00am–3.30pm. You can write to them at Action against Medical Accidents, Freedman House, Christopher Wren Yard, 117 High Street, Croydon CR0 1QG.

We use your information to provide your care and investigate your complaint and we take measures to ensure that the information remains confidential and secure.

If you wish to see your records or have copies of the information email  Further information concerning the act can be  found at

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) provide confidential information, advice and support to patients, their families and carers.  They will listen to your concerns, suggestions or queries and help to sort out problems quickly on your behalf. 

If you prefer to talk to someone who is not involved in your care or are unsure who to talk to, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) 01782 6764509.00am–4.00pm or email Please send personal information encrypted or password protected as this is not a secure email address.