We do all we can to provide good quality health services, but sometimes things don’t go as they should. We welcome people telling us about how we can improve, or tell us about the service they have received from NHS South East London ICB.

Sharing your views helps us to know what we are doing well, learn lessons from mistakes, and prevent them happening to anyone else.

Who can I contact about my concerns and complaints?

In most cases the best way to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible is with the staff of the service or organisation you are complaining about. It is helpful if the NHS organisation/primary care practitioner providing the service is made aware of your concerns as they may be able to sort these out for you. You can do this immediately by speaking to a member of staff in that organisation.

Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS)

PALS is a confidential service that provides information advice and support for patients, families and carers. To support this, the patient experience team will, where possible and appropriate, liaise with staff who have direct contact with patients, their families and carers, providing help and information regarding enquiries or concerns.

For further enquiries or if you are concerned but don’t want to make a complaint you can call PALS on Freephone 0800 328 9712 or land-line 020 8176 5337. The phone lines have an answering service so messages can be left at any time and we will endeavour to respond to your query within five working days, alternatively you can email: contactus@selondonics.nhs.uk

Complaints about services commissioned by SEL ICB

You can contact us if you have a complaint relating to the way an NHS service has been commissioned, or you have been directly affected by a commissioning decision made by us.

From 1st July 2023 you can also contact us if you have a complaint or concerns about a GP, dentist, pharmacist or optician that cannot be resolved locally.

For help finding your nearest GP, dentist, pharmacist or optician, you can use the online search on the NHS UK website or call 0300 311 22 33.

The ICB will retain personal information for the purposes of a complaint investigation only. To help us make improvements to the services you receive, anonymous information about your complaint may be shared as part of our reporting process. Should you have any concerns about these arrangements please contact us.

Complaints about hospitals and community health services

If you have a complaint concerning other health services in south east London please contact the Complaints or Patient Advice and Liaison Department at the organisation providing the service for information about how to raise a concern or complaint.​

All services providing NHS care have a way of receiving comments and complaints about their services. If you have a comment or complaint about a hospital, mental health, community or other NHS service, you should raise this through that organisation’s comments and complaints system. If you want us to know about your comment or complaint, please send a copy of your letter or comments to our dedicated email: contactus@selondonics.nhs.uk. The responsibility for investigating any issue arising from a complaint remains with the organisation that provided the service to you.

Please click on the relevant link below to see their contact details (links open in a new window):

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Who can complain?

Anyone who is receiving/has received treatment/care from an NHS organisation or primary care provider. You can also complain on behalf of someone else if you have their permission to do so in writing.

What is the time limit for making a complaint?

You should normally complain within 12 months of the event, or within 12 months of becoming aware that you have something to complain about. It is sometimes possible to extend this time limit if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier.

How do I make a complaint?

You can make a complaint verbally, in writing or by email. If you wish to complain about a hospital, community or mental health provider please contact those directly. If you have any comment or complaint regarding the commissioning of a service please contact the Patient Experience Team at:

Email: contactus@selondonics.nhs.uk
Tel: 0800 328 9712 or 0208 176 5337

Supporting you in making an NHS complaint

If you feel you would like some independent help or support with your NHS related complaint, you can contact the appropriate advocacy service who can represent your views and support you when you are making a complaint about the NHS.

To get support to make a health complaint in Bexley, you can contact Advocacy for All

To get support to make a health complaint in Bromley, you can contact The Advocacy People.

To get support to make a health complaint in Greenwich, Lambeth and Southwark you can contact POhWER.

To get support to make a health complaint in Lewisham, you can contact Healthwatch Lewisham

What will happen once I make my complaint?

Once we have received your complaint, an investigation will start. We will try and resolve all complaints at the earliest opportunity.

If we need a greater understanding of what you are complaining about, the case handler may contact you to discuss your complaint in more detail and agree a date in which we will respond by. Once the investigation is complete, any necessary action identified will be taken to ensure the incident does not happen again.

Will my complaint remain confidential?

Whilst your right to confidentiality will be respected, when investigating your complaint we may need to share information regarding your case with a third party within the NHS. We will require your consent in order to do this. It may, therefore, be useful when making your complaint to include your consent. There may be times when we need to share information without your consent for example, to protect children and vulnerable adults.

When will I hear?

Your complaint will be acknowledged within three working days of receipt. This may be by telephone or in writing. Arrangements will be made to contact you to discuss how your complaint will be handled.

What will happen?

Your concerns will be investigated and you will receive a reply which will aim to show that your concerns have been fully investigated.

What happens if I remain dissatisfied following the investigation?

Once an organisation believes it has done its utmost to try to address your concerns it will be explained that local resolution is complete and you will be directed to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is independent of both the NHS and the Government and will decide if your complaint should be investigated further. You will need to contact the Ombudsman within 12 months of receiving a final response.

The Ombudsman will normally only take on a complaint after you have first tried to resolve the complaint with the organisation involved and have received a response from them. The Ombudsman’s website states the Ombudsman believes that the organisation should be given a chance to respond and, where appropriate, try to put things right before they become involved.

You can contact their helpline on 0345 015 4033 or phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk.

Further information is also available at the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman website.

You can write to the Ombudsman at:

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
London SW1P 4QP

How do I leave general feedback?

It’s really valuable when you leave feedback about your experience of health and care services.

This helps us, and our providers, to ensure that you are receiving a quality service and helps us to improve the care that patients receive in the future.

You can leave feedback by reviewing a service on the NHS website. Simply search for the provider and click ‘Leave review’.

This is an open website, so other people will be able to see your feedback. If you have a complaint, or you need to leave any personal information, you should contact the relevant Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).