About the complaints process

To make sure you are familiar with the process and to ensure we get all the details we need to take your complaint forward as quickly as possible, please see the points below

Making a complaint

If you're staying in hospital or visiting an inpatient 

Talk to the ward sister or charge nurse (wearing a navy blue uniform with white trim). They will listen to your concerns, explain the situation, agree what actions should be taken and update you on progress as required.


If you are an outpatient

Please ask the staff at any reception area to put you in touch with the member of staff you need to talk to.


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

Please contact PALS. This team provides support to patients, their families and visitors.

Ask a member of staff to direct you to their office. You can also contact them on:

Freephone: 0800 183 0204 (free from a UK landline or mobile)

From a mobile or abroad: 0115 924 9924 Ext: 85412 or 82301

Email: pals@nuh.nhs.uk

If you are not satisfied with the response that you receive, you can make a complaint by writing to:

Anthony May
Chief Executive
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
City Hospital
Hucknall Road


Writing a complaint

  • Ideally, all complaints should be made within six months of the issue, as this makes it easier to investigate the complaint and respond as quickly as possible.
  • Please give as much information as you can, including your name and address. If relevant, also include the name of the doctor or nurse caring for you, the ward name and your hospital number.
  • If you are raising more than one concern please number each point. This helps us to make sure we answer all of your concerns.
  • A friend or relative can make a complaint on your behalf. If you wish to do this we will ask you to sign a consent form, giving us permission to disclose your personal information to this person. 
  • We will send you a letter to acknowledge your complaint within three working days. We will do our best to give you a full reply as quickly as possible - usually within 25 to 40 working days. If we think it will take longer than this to investigate your complaint fully, we will let you know.
  • Sometimes, we may invite you to a meeting to discuss your case with the relevant staff. You can invite a relative or friend to this meeting.

About the complaints process What to expect from the complaints process

As a result of a complaint, NHS organisations can:

  • carry out an investigation and offer an explanation for what happened
  • offer an apology or some other statement of regret
  • take steps to put matters right and assure you that they have done so

The complaints procedure 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.

Your complaint is not kept in your medical notes, so it will not affect your future care in any way.

We are committed to learning from all the complaints we receive. We may also choose to share your (anonymised) complaint with our Trust Board to highlight where we can do better.

What if I am still not happy

If you have followed the complaints procedure outlined above and you are not satisfied with our reply you can request:

  • that the complaint is reopened, detailing the aspects of your complaint that you do not feel our response fully addressed.
  • an independent review of your complaint. You will need to contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), requesting a review. You must do this within 12 months of our response. The PHSO will not investigate your case before you have received our response. You can contact the PHSO through their website: www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint