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Making a complaint

Patients and visitors

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If there's something you're unhappy with, we'd like to know about it, so that we can try to put matters right. We believe that every complaint is an opportunity for us to better understand and improve the quality of our services.

We know that people can be worried that if they raise a concern or complaint about their care (or the care of someone close to them) the care will suffer. We undertake to make sure that the fact that you have complained will never adversely affect anyone's treatment.

If you have a concern or complaint you can raise it in several ways.

Talking it through

If you are concerned about your care, or any of the services provided, please feel free to speak to a member of staff on the ward or in the department.

If you're staying in hospital or visiting an inpatient 

Talk to the ward sister or nurse in charge who will be wearing a distinctive red armband. He/she will listen to your concerns, agree what actions should be taken and update you on progress as required.

If your concern is not resolved to your satisfaction, you can request to speak to the matron (purple uniform) for the department.

If you are an outpatient

Please ask the staff at any reception area to put you in touch with an appropriate member of staff to speak to.

If you would rather talk to someone from outside the ward/department

You can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). PALS provides support to patients, their families and visitors. Ask a member of staff to direct you to their office or telephone PALS on 020 7188 8801.

Making a complaint

You can also contact our complaints department on 020 7188 3514, email or write to them at:

Complaints Department
Guy's Hospital
Great Maze Pond
London SE1 9RT.

You can also send us your complaint using our online form.

Further information on the complaints process is given below.

  • Writing a complaint 

    • Ideally, all complaints should be made soon after the events you want to complain about happened. This makes it easier for everyone to remember what happened.
    • Please give as much information as you can, including your name, address and hospital number.
    • If you are raising more than one concern, it helps to use headings or number each point. This helps us to make sure we answer all of your concerns in our response.
    • You can ask a friend or relative to raise a concern or complaint on your behalf. If you do, we will ask you to sign a consent form, giving us permission to disclose your personal information to this person.
  • What can I expect from the complaints process?

    We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days and investigate it. When we begin our investigation we will let you know how long it is likely to take. We will also keep you informed of progress, and if the investigation is going to take longer than originally thought we will explain to you the reason why.

    Once the investigation is complete, we will provide you with a written response explaining the outcome and conclusions of the investigation. Where our investigation has identified any service failure (occasions where our service fell below the standard to be expected) we will explain what actions we intend to take to help avoid that failure (or a similar failure) occurring again and the timescales for completing those actions.

    Please be aware that the complaints process cannot look at disciplinary issues, (for example whether a staff member should be sacked), 'strike off' a health professional or suspend their registration, or look at complaints about treatment provided privately unless it was paid for by the NHS.

    See also our leaflets:

    • Making a complaint (PDF 34Kb) 
    • How to make a comment or complaint - an easy read guide (PDF 424Kb).
  • What if I am still not happy?

    If after you have received our written response to your complaint you are not satisfied you can request an independent review of your complaint.

    You will need to write to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), requesting a review. By law, you should usually take your complaint to the Ombudsman within a year of when you first became aware of the problem.

Contacting our complaints department

020 7188 3514


Post: Complaints Department, Guy's Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London SE1 9RT.

You can also send us your complaint using our online form.

Further help

Making a complaint (PDF 34Kb) 

How to make a comment or complaint - an easy read guide (PDF 424Kb)

Video tips on making a complaint

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has produced a British Sign Language video featuring tips on making a complaint to the NHS.