Concerns and complaints
This section explains who to contact with your concerns and complaints and how they can help you.
Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) offers support, information and assistance to patients, relatives and visitors.
If you have concerns about a current inpatient, please ask to speak to the ward manager or nurse in charge. They can offer you assistance and try to address your concerns.
What PALS can help with
PALS can help with the following:
- You can ask us for information about the hospital’s services.
- We can advise you where to go to get health information.
- We can help with problems that you have not been able to sort out with staff on a ward or in a clinic.
- If you want to make a complaint, we can tell you how to do so. We can also tell you about independent organisations that can help you with a complaint.
- We listen to your views on how we can improve our services, and we offer opportunities for people to get involved in how they develop.
- We can help find interpreters, signers, and other support for patients who need extra help using our services. For example, our Safeguarding Adults team helps patients who have a learning disability.
See your medical records
For full details go to our page about how to see your medical records. PALS does not handle these requests; they are handled by the Trust’s Patient Records Service.
How to contact us
For assistance from PALS at Princess Royal University Hospital, Orpington Hospital, Queen Mary’s Hospital and Beckenham Beacon, contact our service at the Princess Royal.
Tel: 01689 863252 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (not bank holidays)
Making a complaint
Our staff will do whatever they can to make sure you receive the highest standard of treatment. But there can sometimes be misunderstandings or you may not be happy with your treatment, and you will want to let us know.
Here we explain your options. We treat every complaint seriously and aim to resolve them as quickly and fully as possible. Making a complaint will not affect your future care or treatment at King’s.
Talking it through
If you have concerns about any aspect of our service, please approach a member of staff in the department or ward and they will try to put things right as soon as they can. If you are on a ward, the best person to speak to is the ward manager or senior nurse on duty. If you are an outpatient, you can ask for help at reception when you attend your appointment.
What if I am not satisfied?
You can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01689 863252, 9am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. You can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They may be able to help resolve problems or give you useful information.
Make a formal complaint
If the PALS team cannot deal with your concerns or you want to make a formal complaint, you can do this in the following ways:
- call the Complaints Department on 020 3299 3209
- email email@example.com
- write a letter to the Complaints Office. The postal address is:
King’s College Hospital
London SE5 9RS
So we can process your complaint letter or email, it would be helpful if you could include:
- your full personal and contact details such as date of birth, address, phone number(s) and patient hospital number.
- a full description of your concerns. Please state dates, locations and name(s) of staff involved, where possible. If you are raising more than one concern, it is useful to number each of the different points you are making. This helps us to make sure we answer all of your concerns.
- what your expectations are and how we can resolve your complaint.
If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we may need to get their authorisation confirming that they have given permission for us to provide you with details of their care. We will send you a form to complete.
After you have made a complaint
We will acknowledge formal complaints within three working days. We will carry out a full investigation which we normally aim to complete within 25 working days. But if your complaint is particularly complex or involves a number of different specialists or services, we will contact you to agree an alternative schedule.
If it is appropriate, and you agree, we can arrange for you to meet with the clinical teams involved in your care to discuss your concerns. We may also agree to ask an independent clinician to review the patient records and provide a report on the care we provided. The Chief Executive sees every complaint made and will write to you once our investigation has finished.
If you are not satisfied with how we have dealt with your complaint, or if we cannot resolve your complaint, you have the right to appeal to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and ask for a review of your case.
More information and advice
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
If you are not satisfied with how we have dealt with your complaint, or if we cannot resolve your complaint, you have the right to ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to review your case. The Ombudsman is independent of the NHS. We will send you further details of this process with our responses to your complaint.
The following services can provide independent, free and confidential information and support to people wishing to make a complaint about the NHS:
POhWER’s NHS Complaints Advocacy Service