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​Tell Us What You Think

Comments, complaints, concerns and compliments

This information is for patients, relatives, carers and friends. It tells you how you can give us feedback on the care or service you or a friend or member of your family has received.

Your views are very important to us as they can help us to improve our service to all our patients. Please take time to bring any issue to our attention. Contact details for everyone mentioned here can be found at the bottom of this page.

Hospital Hero Awards

If you have been really impressed by the care you have received from an individual or team at Dorset County Hospital please consider nominating them for a Hospital Hero award.

Patient Experience Team (incorporating Patient Advice and Liaison Service):

The Patient Experience Team offer a free and confidential service for patients and carers. The team can help answer any questions about your experience with the hospital, listen to your suggestions, queries and concerns and can offer advice and support for you, your family, carers and friends.

We can offer 'on the spot' advice if you have queries or difficulties about health services, provide information about hospital services and help you find other organisations or groups that may be helpful.

Our team are here to listen and respond to your comments. Our opening hours are 10am to 12noon and 2pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday. We are situated in the North Wing, Level 1, Main Entrance.

You can contact us by:

Telephone: 0800 7838058

Email:​ pals@dchft.nhs.uk

We value your compliments, comments and suggestions:

If you have any comments or suggestions about how we can improve our services, we would like to know. You can:

Speak to staff

Use the suggestion boxes throughout the hospital

Contact Patient and Customer Services

Send a letter or e-mail to the Chief Executive

Problem? Concern? Complaint?

If you or your family are unhappy with any aspect of your care please talk to the person in charge of the ward, clinic or department as soon as possible. Very often problems can be sorted out straight away.

If you feel they are unable to help you and you need information, advice or support in resolving a problem quickly and informally you may choose to contact the Patient and Customer Services team.

Your complaint will be treated in confidence, it will not be filed on your health records, it will not affect your treatment and you will not be discriminated against in any way.

Our staff will try to give you help, advice and support in raising your concern or complaint. To help them resolve your concern as quickly as possible it would be helpful if you had the following information available:

The patient details (name, address, date of birth, telephone number and hospital number if known);

Your contact details (if different) and your relationship to the patient;

A clear description of your concern or complaint. If you are raising more than one concern, it helps to number each point. This helps us to make sure we answer all of your concerns;

The ward / department where the concern or query relates to or the name of the member of staff involved;

Copies of any relevant documents to assist with the investigation;

If possible, a daytime telephone number on which we can contact you:

What your desired outcome is, i.e. how we can help best resolve your concern or complaint.

Patient and Customer Services
Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Williams Avenue
Dorchester
Dorset DT1 2JY

Tel: 0800 7838058

For concerns that can be dealt​ with quickly and informally, please email:​pals@dchft.nhs.uk

For formal complaints, please email: complaints@dchft.nhs.uk

Consent:

If you are raising concerns or making a complaint on behalf of someone else we may, for patient confidentiality reasons, ask for the patient's written consent to reply to you. This can be obtained by writing a short letter, signed by the patient, confirming that they have given permission for us to provide you with specific details about their treatment or care; or a consent form can be sent to you for the patient to complete. A pre-paid envelope will be provided for your assistance in returning the completed form.

If your concern or complaint involves another Trust or agency, we will need to have your consent (or that of the patient) to contact them and obtain information for a joint Trust/agency response.

Formal complaint:

Despite every effort we acknowledge that sometimes things go wrong. If your concern cannot be resolved quickly or you feel it is necessary to make a complaint about our services please contact Patient and Customer Services in writing if possible or if not, by telephone or in person if you prefer. Alternatively you can write to the Chief Executive.

If you need help in making your complaint you may wish to contact Dorset Advocacy.

Dorset Advocacy provides support, independent of the NHS and free of charge, in dealing with the complaints process.

Timescales for making a complaint:

A complaint should be made within 12 months of the incident occuring or within 12 months of discovering you have cause to complain. Complaints received outside of these timescales may still be considered if it is clear there are good reasons for complaining and it is still possible to investigate what happened.

What we will do after receiving a complaint:

The Patient and Customer Services team will acknowledge receipt of your complaint by telephone or in writing within three working days of it being received. We will invite you to discuss the way in which you would like your concerns to be investigated and fed back to you, and discuss the length of time we expect the investigation to take.

Should there be any delay we will contact you to explain why and agree with you when you can expect to receive a response.

If you choose to meet with staff at any point of the investigation, you are welcome to bring a relative, friend or Dorset Advocacy representative to support you.

Please be aware that staff involved in the investigation of some complaints may need access to your health records or those of the patient concerned and in such cases, patient confidentiality will be respected at all times.

What you can do if you are not happy with the outcome:

If you are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation please contact Patient and Customer Services, if possible in writing, or if not by telephone, with details of your remaining concerns within 28 days of our response. We may then suggest that we investigate your complaint further or arrange a meeting with you and the staff involved to discuss your concerns.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman:

If you feel that your complaint has still not been resolved you can write to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman. This is a free service. The Ombudsman, who is appointed by Parliament and is completely independent of the NHS, will decide whether or not to investigate the complaint. The Ombudsman will not usually take on a case that has not been through the NHS complaints procedure as outlined above.

Contact details:

Patient Experience Team
Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Williams Avenue
Dorchester
Dorset DT1 2JY

Tel: 0800 7838058

For concerns that can be dealt​ with quickly and informally, please email:​pals@dchft.nhs.uk

For formal complaints, please email: complaints@dchft.nhs.uk

Chief Executive
Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Williams Avenue
Dorchester
Dorset DT1 2JY

Tel: 01305 251150
E-mail: headquarters@dchft.nhs.uk

Dorset Advocacy
13-15 Jubilee Court
Paceycombe Way
Dorchester DT1 3AE
Tel: 0300 343 7000
E-mail: nhscomplaints@dorsetadvocacy.co.uk
Website: www.dorsetadvocacy.co.uk

Healthwatch Dorset
Freepost BH1902
896 Christchurch Road
Bournemouth BH7 6BR
Phone: 0300 111 0102
Email: enquiries@healthwatchdorset.co.uk
Website: www.healthwatchdorset.co.uk

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

Helpline tel: 0345 015 4033
Fax: 0300 061 4000
E-mail: OHSC.Enquiries@ombudsman.gsi.gov.uk
Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk

Care Quality Commission (CQC)
Finsbury Tower
103-105 Bunhill Row
London
EC1Y 8TG
Tel: 03000 616161
E-mail: enquiries@cqc.org.uk