Resolving Issues and Making Complaints

We always try to provide the best possible care, however we know we don’t always get it right.

We want to improve our services so please do give us your comments and suggestions at palsandcomplaints@merseycare.nhs.uk

All other policies and procedures can be found here

If you have concerns or an issue that you would like to be resolved you can use our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). Here you can get support, advice and information about any aspect relating to your contact with Mersey Care.

You can reach the PALS service on 0800 328 2941

If you prefer to go through the formal complaints procedure, you should contact our Complaints Department:

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
V7 Building
Kings Business Park
Prescot
L34 1PJ

Tel: 0151 471 2377 
E-mail: palsandcomplaints@merseycare.nhs.uk

Submit a complaint online: Fill in the form below and press the submit button to send your complaint directly to our Complaints team.

The complaints procedure aims to provide a quick, but thorough response, which answers your concerns properly, where possible by those who know most about your care.

The NHS Complaints Procedure is for service users, carers and relatives to raise concerns about care and treatment provided by Mersey Care NHS Trust. Carers or relatives may also raise complaints about how they have been treated by Trust staff. Any other person who has been affected by a decision, act or omission of the Trust may also make a complaint.

How do I make a complaint? 

Wherever possible, you should tell someone close to the cause of your complaint for example, a doctor, nurse, or receptionist. In many cases the problem can be sorted out straight away.

If you have issues that you would like to be resolved rather than make a formal complaint you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 328 2941. PALS provide support, information and advice to service users and carers to assist in resolving issues and concerns that may arise during your contact with the Trust.

If you want the issue dealt with through the formal procedure, you should contact the Complaints Department:

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust V7 Building Kings Business Park Prescot L34 1PJ

Tel: 0151 472 4002 Email: complaints@merseycare.nhs.uk

We will do our best to address your issues as soon as possible. Sometimes the person you speak to at first will need to get in touch with other members of staff to establish what has happened and to decide what action to take.

Information from your records may need to be disclosed as part of the investigation; however we will be careful to ensure that any information about you is kept confidential. 

Submit a complaint online: Fill in the form on this page and press the submit button to send your complaint directly to our Complaints team.

It is important that you make your complaint as soon as possible after the incident. You can make a complaint within 12 months of an incident or event occurring or within 12 months of the time when you became aware you had reason to make a complaint. The time limit may sometimes be extended if there is a genuine reason why you could not make the complaint sooner, and whether it is still possible for us to investigate your concerns.

If your complaint relates to the services of another NHS trust or social services department, as well as Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, the Complaints department will liaise with the other organisation(s) to consider providing a joint response. This means that it may be possible to provide you with one response letter which addresses your concerns regarding each NHS trust or social services department. 

We will contact you within three working days of receiving your complaint to acknowledge it and make arrangements to address your concerns. It is helpful if you can provide a contact telephone number so we can speak with you to understand what you would like to happen as a result of making the complaint, and to discuss how this can be achieved. This could be a formal investigation, or possibly a meeting with the staff involved in your complaint.

If your complaint is formally investigated, we will agree a timescale by which we would hope to respond to you. If your complaint is formally investigated you will receive a written response that will hopefully answer all the concerns you raised. You will be kept informed and involved throughout the process.

If you are not satisfied with the response to your complaint, please contact us to see if there is any further action we can take to resolve the issue. This might involve organising a meeting, undertaking a further investigation, or providing a further written response to outstanding points.

If you remain dissatisfied following our attempts to resolve your complaint you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to review your case.

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

Tel: 0345 015 4033 
Fax: 0300 061 4000 
Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk 

Further information about the role of the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is available from their website: www.ombudsman.org.uk.

If you need help or advice to make your complaint you can contact your local Independent Mental Health Advocacy Service (IMHA) who provide independent advocacy for people who have a complaint about the NHS.

You can contact their helpline on 0151 250 5090 or write to them at:

Independent Mental Health Advocacy Service 
Broadoak Unit 
Broadgreen Hospital 
Liverpool 
L14 3PJ

You can also contact:

Healthwatch Independent Complaints Advocacy (Merseyside and Cheshire) 
The Gateway Conference Centre 
71 London Road 
Liverpool L3 8HY 
Helpline – 0808 8010389

For High, Medium and Low Secure IMHA service contact:

POhWER Advocacy Service
Central Services Building 
Ashworth Hospital 
Maghull 
Liverpool L31 1HW 
Tel: 0300 456 2370

Upheld Complaints – January 2020

Following the inquiry into patient care at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Robert Francis recommended that NHS trusts should publish information about upheld complaints on their website. As part of our commitment to share information and improve learning, Mersey Care NHS Trust publishes upheld complaints every month on our website.

Every year the trust receives approximately 500 complaints from service users, relatives and carers in both local and high secure services.

If a complaint is received which relates to one specific issue, and substantive evidence is found to support the allegation made, the complaint is recorded as ‘upheld’.

If a complaint is made regarding more than one issue, and one or more of these issues are upheld, the complaint is recorded as ‘partially upheld’.

Where there is no evidence to support any allegations made, the complaint is recorded as ‘not upheld’.

Sometimes it’s possible to resolve a complaint by arranging a meeting with the complainant and those involved in the care of the service user, for example, the consultant psychiatrist, team leader or service manager. Other times, it’s more appropriate to formally investigate a complaint, after which a response letter is sent to the complainant from the Chief Executive.

It is the responsibility of the Complaints Department to identify any trends or themes within particular services, on certain wards etc., to see what action can be taken by the trust to prevent the same issues recurring in the future.

The following complaints were closed and upheld/partially upheld in January 2020:

  • A service user reported that items of property went missing whist they were an inpatient. The Trust has apologised that the correct procedure was not followed and an ex-gratia payment has been offered. 
  • Service user raised concerns about the care she received from the District Nurse Team, following surgery.

Treatment Rooms are to look into developing regular Safety Huddle meetings to improve the remote working arrangements of staff within this service and help with continuity of care. Staff are to attend a learning session for holistic assessment and pain assessment. The recording of information on templates as opposed to free text will be introduced to support appropriate record keeping, including any changes to wound management.

  • Service user raised concerns about the care he received from the Hospital Liaison Team.

The service user has received an apology and we have confirmed that the referral pathway is currently being reviewed.

  • Family member raised concerns about the care a service user received when she moved into the area.

A breakdown in communication was identified. Norris Green Hub now has permanent administration cover. It has also been recommended that anybody in a similar situation will be allocated a care coordinator to act as a point of contact during the transfer of care process and ensure that the required documentation is competed and received in a timely manner.

  • Family member raised concerns that a service user was allowed off the ward unescorted, without their knowledge and subsequently attempted to take his own life.

The Trust have agreed to consider informing next of kin/family when leave is agreed, with service user’s consent. Staff should also ensure that leave cards are provided consistently when a service user utilises leave.

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Please give as much information as possible including dates, times places, names of any staff or patients present.

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Someone will contact you regarding your complaint within three days of submitting the form. Or if you wish to contact the complaints department directly, you can telephone us on: 0151 472 4002.

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