If you have any comments, questions or concerns about the service or treatment you have received please raise them with the staff looking after you or responsible for your care so we can address and resolve them at the time. If you do not feel able to raise your concerns with staff or do not get a satisfactory response you should contact our Patient Support Unit.
If your comments relate to services or treatment received at Barnet hospital then you can contact us on:
Tel: 020 8216 4924
Fax: 020 8216 4697
If your comments relate to services or treatment received at Chase Farm Hosptial then you can contact us on
Tel: 020 8375 2378
Fax: 020 8375 7117
Please provide a contact number when emailing us as we occasionally have problems replying to external email addresses
Telephone Hours: Monday to Friday 9:30am-4:30pm.
You can also visit us in person or write to us at:
Patient Support Unit
Patient Support Unit
Chase Farm Hospital
Walk-in Hours: Monday to Friday 10am-12 midday and 1:30-3:00pm.
You can also contact us if you want to:
- ask about the service you received from our hospitals;
- make comments and suggestions about your experience with us, which will help us to improve the services we provide;
- find out about our policies and practices;
- be referred to advocacy services which can support you;
- obtain information about any aspect of our work;
- be put in touch with other health and social care providers and organisations;
- get access to bilingual health advocates and other support services you or your family might need to help you liaise with us. For example, interpreters or signers; or
- complain about the service you received from us.
Please let us have as much information as possible to help us respond to your enquiry quickly including:
- Full name and address of patient
- Date of birth
- Hospital (MRN) number if known
- Relevant dates, such as date of admission to hospital; date of outpatient clinic appointment
- Brief description of the problem
- Names of any members of staff involved
- Please provide a telephone number we can contact you on and an email address if you have one.
How we will respond to your enquiry
When we receive your enquiry our Patient Support Unit will aim to resolve any issues promptly and will arrange for them to be dealt with by the most appropriate person, for example the Leader or Matron for the service or department in question. Our PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) service aims to acknowledge your concerns and contact you the same day, or by the end of the next working day at the latest.
For serious complaints we will talk through your concerns with you in the first instance so that we can be sure we address your key issues and check that the complaints procedure is the best route to deal with your issues swiftly and effectively. If, for example, your concerns are about the care of someone currently in hospital we may, with your agreement, ask our PALS team to help you in the first instance so that we can sort things out quickly.
At the start we will agree with you how long we anticipate it will take to fully address your concerns and how we will go about this.
Senior staff will be involved in investigating your complaint and you can be assured that our Chief Executive and senior managers are made aware of the most serious issues and any emerging themes from complaints. If more than one organisation is involved, Complaints Managers handling your case will ask your agreement to work together to investigate and you will receive one coordinated letter of response from the organisations concerned.
We are changing the way we deal with complaints. Our new procedure will enable us to identify the most serious issues or unsafe practice, quickly and manage them appropriately. In some cases we will deal with incidents under our serious untoward incidents policy.
If you are not happy with our response to your complaint, you have a right to contact the Health Service Ombudsman to ask for an independent review of your complaint. Please visit www.ombudsman.org.uk for further information.
What we will do to resolve your enquiry
When we receive an enquiry, complaint or a report about an incident we will do the following:
- Assess the situation and take immediate action if any patient might be at risk;
- Discuss with you your key points of concern. We will meet with you or, with your consent, whoever has made the enquiry if this is appropriate;
- Agree how long we expect our investigations and response to you to take;
- Give you details of Independent Advocacy Services if you would like them;
- Examine and evaluate any relevant records;
- Obtain an account of events from the staff involved;
- Obtain clinical advice about the care provided as needed;
- Offer a comprehensive explanation of the care or treatment provided;
- Explain what action we are going to take, if any.
Where appropriate, we will take the following action:
- Involve relevant senior managers and our Medical Director at an early stage. We may also obtain independent clinical advice;
- Have face-to-face meetings at an early stage, where requested or appropriate. We will always consider a face-to-face meeting if someone has died; when a serious case is identified; and when the person concerned requests one;
- Arrange independent mediation where appropriate;
- Ask people independent of our organisation to carry out an inquiry; especially if we do not have independent expertise ourselves;
- Continue to build on the strong relationship we have with the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service. We also welcome the involvement of specialist advocacy services:
- Liaise with other health and social care providers where they may have been involved in the matter and send you a combined response letter.
Our promise to you
When we receive an enquiry, you can expect us to do the following:
- Contact you in person by the end of the next working day at the latest - this is based on our Patient Support Unit working office hours, Monday to Friday;
- Help you to find the best way of resolving your problem or getting an answer to your question;
- Deal with your enquiry in confidence;
- See you at a time and place that suits you;
- Keep you updated on the progress of your enquiry and any action we intend to take;
- Use information from your enquiry to improve our services;
- Ask for your feedback and use this so that we can improve our services.
What we will do if we get it wrong
Although the Trust aims to provide a high quality service, there are times when we get it wrong. When that happens we will do the following:
- Offer you an apology;
- Review the care we provided or the way we managed the incident with a senior manager, training officer or someone similar, and reflect on what happened in a way that helps us to learn from the experience;
- Use your experience to improve our policies and practice;
- Where appropriate, create a specific care plan, with the involvement and agreement of the patient involved;
- Explain what we have done to address the issues raised and prevent them happening again;
- Report back to you on the action we have taken;
- Work closely with any other agency involved so that we can offer a ‘joined-up' approach.
- Ensure that the lessons we have learned are shared across our organisation to improve the experience of other patients.