We are committed to ensuring that NHS services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are as good as they can be and welcome your suggestions and feedback about both the services we commission (purchase) and the services we provide.

Your feedback is important in helping us plan for the future and continually improve local services, so please do tell us how we can do things better, or if we are doing something well.

This will help us to understand what is important for you as a patient, carer or relative and we are grateful for you taking the time to contact us.

Let us know if your care or treatment has gone well

If you have received particularly good service from any health service provider or a member of staff and you have any comments or suggestions to make, please let us know, by contacting our email address (seen below).

What to do when things don’t go to plan

We appreciate that things don’t always go to plan and want to work with you to resolve any problems you may experience, which will help us to continually improve our healthcare services.

Many enquiries and complaints can be looked into and resolved quickly by discussing them directly with the person who is providing your care, or their manager. This is best done at the time you became aware of the problem.

However, we appreciate this is not always possible. If you are unsure who the best person is to help you, please contact the Patient Experience and Complaints Service (email seen below) and we can advise on next steps.

Who can make a complaint?

Anyone who is receiving, has received, or has been affected by NHS treatment or services can make a complaint.

If a person does not wish to, or is unable to complain for themselves, then someone can act on their behalf if they have the appropriate consent and/or supporting documentation to do so. Young people (under age 18) are entitled to complain independently and if someone is acting on their behalf, we will check that the young person understands about the complaint, if this is appropriate.

If you would like to make a complaint on behalf of someone else, we will discuss the requirement to obtain their consent or ensure you have the correct permission to act on their behalf.

If you wish to complain, it is important to note that:

  • There is a time limit of 12 months in which to raise your complaint with the NHS.
  • We are not able to re-look at a complaint that has already been investigated through the NHS Complaint Regulations.

Please be assured that your complaint will be treated in confidence and not recorded in your medical records. A complaint will not affect your treatment in any way.

If you have any queries or a complaint about the service you have received or expecting to receive from a healthcare provider (such as a GP practice, community service or hospital) you can raise this directly with the provider. This is often the best way to make a complaint because it gets to the people responsible for providing the service much more quickly and they may be able to help solve the matter for you straight away.

If you are thinking of complaining, the best option is to discuss this directly with the service provider, eg ward staff or practice manager, who can quickly access your medical records and speak to the staff involved and are therefore more likely to resolve the matter quickly.

The contact details of our main providers are given below. Please visit their websites to find out about their complaints procedure.

Complaints about hospital care (NHS Acute Providers)

Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust : Making a complaint :: Hampshire Hospitals

University Hospital Southampton: Contact us - getting help - University Hospital Southampton (uhs.nhs.uk)

Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust: Complaints and Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) (porthosp.nhs.uk)

Isle of Wight NHS Trust: Isle of Wight NHS Trust - Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS): Incorporating Complaints, Concerns and Compliments (iow.nhs.uk)

University Hospitals Dorset: Patient experience and feedback (uhd.nhs.uk)

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust: Complaints (salisbury.nhs.uk)

Complaints about mental health services

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust: Advice and complaints (PALS) :: Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Solent NHS Trust: Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) | Solent NHS

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust: Addressing your concerns and complaints :: Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Complaints about NHS Continuing Healthcare

All Age Continuing Care (CHC and FNC): All Age Continuing Care :: Hampshire and Isle of Wight ICS (hantsiowhealthandcare.org.uk)

Complaints about adult community services

Solent NHS Trust: Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) | Solent NHS

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust: Addressing your concerns and complaints :: Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Complaints about 999 emergency ambulance service

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust: How did we do? | South Central Ambulance Service (scas.nhs.uk)

Complaints about 111 and GP out of hours

South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust: How did we do? | South Central Ambulance Service (scas.nhs.uk)


 The South East Complaints Hub are responsible for handling complaints for GPs, dentists, pharmacists/pharmacies and optometrists/opticians within South East England.

If you are making a complaint about a GP, dentist, pharmacy or optometrist, the best option is to contact them directly (e.g. GP Practice). They can quickly access your medical records and the staff involved and therefore more likely to resolve the matter quickly.

Alternatively, you can contact the South East Complaints Hub:

South East Complaints Hub
NHS Frimley ICB
Aldershot Centre for Health
Hospital Hill
GU11 1AY

Phone number: 0300 561 0290

Email address: Frimleyicb.southeastcomplaints@nhs.net

Website: https://www.frimley.icb.nhs.uk/contact-us/complaints-and-compliments 

We recognise that you may not want to take your complaint in this instance, to the people who are responsible for providing your care and may prefer to talk to the Patient Experience Team at the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board .

Or, you may be unsure which organisation you should talk to, especially if your complaint is involves more than one organisation.

We can explain the options available to you to make a complaint and will talk you through the next steps.

For patients living within Hampshire and Isle of Wight, please email: hiowicb-hsi.patientexperience@nhs.net  

Email is our preferred way to correspond with you but if you wish to leave a voice mail for a member of the Team, please dial 0300 561 2561.

What can the Patient Experience Team do?

  • You can ask for advice or information
  • We will assist you in ensuring that your feedback or suggestions get to the right place
  • We are committed to listen, understand and work with you to try to resolve any difficulty or problem
  • We can look into complaints about any health services commissioned or provided by the HIOW ICB
  • We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days and will work with you to agree the best way to help resolve this, asking about the outcome you would like from making your complaint.
  • We will explain what will happen next and discuss how long the whole process is likely to take.
  • We may need to share your details with an external organisation. We will always seek your consent to do this.
  • We will treat all information you share with us confidentially. Your complaint will not be recorded in your medical records and so will not affect any treatment you have in the future.
  • If your complaint is being considered by a provider organisation (such as your GP practice or hospital), they will be responsible for keeping in touch with you and providing you with a response to your complaint.
  • If the HIOW ICB is looking into your complaint, we will keep in touch with you and agree with you a timescale for response. If there is going to be a delay we will let you know and explain why.

What the Patient Experience and Complaints Team cannot do

We work remotely so on a day-to-day basis, are not available to meet you in our office buildings. The reception staff at our offices are not able to support you with any queries or complaints.

  • We are not able to look into complaints which have already been looked into by another responsible NHS body.
  • We are unable to look into complaints which are being or have been investigated by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). 

The NHS can sometimes be complicated to understand, if you feel you need support, our Patient Experience Service is here to help. We can provide you with information or advice to help answer your enquiry or guide you through the NHS complaints procedure regarding any services we commission.

If you have any information or communication needs due to a disability, impairment or sensory loss, please contact us (or ask someone to do this on your behalf) so we can discuss the best way to help you.

If you need independent advice or support you can contact the following advocacy services:

Healthwatch Hampshire

Healthwatch Hampshire complaints page: Help to make a complaint | Healthwatch

Healthwatch is the consumer champion for health and social care in England. Thier sole purpose is to understand the needs, experiences and concerns of people who use health and social care services and to ensure their voices are heard and responded to. Healthwatch give people a powerful voice locally and nationally. The Healthwatch network is made up of local Healthwatch across each of the 152 local authority areas and Healthwatch England, the national body.

VoiceAbility (Hamphire County Council postcodes)

VoiceAbility supports patients who have post codes covered by Hampshire County Council – if you are unsure, please check on the GOV.UK website: Find your local council - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

VoiceAbility webpage: VoiceAbility | Advocacy and involvement

In Hampshire, Voiceability provide advocacy for adults with support needs that mean they would benefit from advocacy, but who do not fall into the criteria for other forms of advocacy; and advocacy for anyone with a mental health issue who is in hospital or who is eligible to access community mental health services.

The Advocacy People (Southampton)

The Advocacy People supports patients in the Southampton area.

The Advocacy People website: Home | The Advocacy People

The Advocacy People is an independent charity who recognise how important it is for people to be listened to and taken seriously, and recognise that sometimes people need help to find the words to say what they really want or feel. The Advocacy People can help and support people to decide what to do about their situation and how they want to do it, and their service is free and confidential. There is a helpful map on their website to show the areas they cover. Please note, this service does not cover the Isle of Wight.

SWAN Advocacy (Isle of Wight)

SWAN Advocacy supports patients on the Isle of Wight

SWAN Advocacy website: Isle of Wight | South West Advocacy Network (swanadvocacy.org.uk)

SWAN has been delivering Independent Mental Health Act Advocacy, Independent Care Act Advocacy and Independent Mental Capacity Act Advocacy since June 2021.

In the first instance, please contact the complaints team who handled your complaint and let them know you are unhappy with the response you have received. They may be able to re-open your complaint or provide you with additional information.

After this, if you are still unhappy with the response to your complaint and would like to take the matter further, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman makes final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS, government departments and some other public organisations. The service is free for everyone. To take a complaint to the Ombudsman, go to www.ombudsman.org.uk/making-complaint or call 0345 015 4033. It is important that you make your complaint to the Ombudsman as soon as you receive our final response as there are time limits for the Ombudsman to look into complaints.

Ombudsman: Making a complaint | Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)

Complaint form: Health_Complaint_Form_March_2022_0.docx (live.com)

Watch this  video  (produced by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman) which uses  British Sign Language to give you tips on making a complaint to the NHS in England, including where to get advice and support.

The local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009: The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009 (legislation.gov.uk)

NHS website: How to complain to the NHS - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

If you think you need medical help right now, 111 online can tell you what to do next: Get help for your symptoms - NHS 111

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