Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust: Healthcare from the heart of your community

Compliments and complaints

At Berkshire Healthcare, we believe that by listening and learning from your experiences we can make our services better for everyone. We welcome all feedback, especially from people who use our services and their families and carers, as you are the best people to comment on your care. You can also find the information from this page in our easy read leaflet Tell us your views

How to make a positive comment or suggestion

We take pride in what we do, and we do our best to make sure you experience the best quality care possible. Sometimes you may feel that a member of staff, or a whole team, has provided you with exceptional service, or gone the extra mile to help. If you would like to tell us about these occasions we would be delighted to hear from you, as it helps us to understand what you consider to be a good experience and encourages us to continually improve what we do.

If you would like to let us know about a positive experience, you can do so by talking to the staff locally, by sending them a letter, card or e-mail, or by contacting our patient experience team via PALS.

We also welcome suggestions about how to improve our service, however big or small the idea. There are many ways you can do this – please view our Get involved with us section.

How to make a complaint

Our aim at Berkshire Healthcare is always to provide excellent care, but there may be times when you are not happy with the service that you or a loved one has received. Should this be the case we would welcome the opportunity to do what we can to put things right, and to learn from your experience.

Our complaints policy is designed to keep the process as simple as possible so you find it easy to share your experience with us.

Anyone who is receiving or has received our services can make a complaint, or you can tell us about your concerns on a patient’s behalf, with the patient’s permission (this is usually a relative or close friend of the patient).

Talk to staff about your concerns. The best thing to do, if you feel comfortable to do so, is to speak to staff at the time. They would like the opportunity to resolve issues for you as soon as possible. If you would like support to do this, please contact the PALS team, who are there to help you.

If you would like to complain more formally. If you have talked to staff or have asked our PALS team for help, and remain unhappy, you can complain more formally by writing to Julian Emms, our Chief Executive, or by contacting our Complaints Office - you can find contact details at the bottom of this page.

If you would like independent support to make a formal complaint about our services (or any NHS service), an organisation called SEAP (Support, Empower, Advocate, Promote) is available to help. SEAP can be contacted on 0330 440 9000, or more information can be found on the SEAP website. You can also read this SEAP leaflet.

What happens when we receive a complaint?

At Berkshire Healthcare, our formal complaints procedure follows the regulations all NHS trusts must use. These regulations are there to make sure your concerns are taken seriously, that you receive a timely response, and that any investigations are completed as quickly as possible.

As a general rule, the NHS complaints procedure cannot be used if you are taking legal action against Berkshire Healthcare, or if you are seeking financial compensation. In all other circumstances we would welcome the opportunity to learn from your experiences, and to do whatever we can to put things right where we have fallen short of our usual high standards.

We find that the earlier people tell us about things that have gone wrong, or that they are unhappy, the quicker we can find out what happened. We may not be able to look into a complaint about something which happened over 12 months ago – please contact the Complaints Office to find out more - you can find contact details at the bottom of this page.

If you are making a complaint on behalf of someone else, they will need to complete a Berkshire Healthcare consent form

We will appoint an appropriate senior manager to look into your complaint and decide what action should be taken. Every complaint we receive is taken very seriously and is thoroughly investigated. We will talk to all the Berkshire Healthcare staff involved to find out what happened. We may also ask you for more information to make sure we have all of the facts.

Sometimes a complaint involves more than one organisation. If this happens, we will contact you to confirm that you are happy for us to speak to the other organisations involved. By doing this we can make sure we have all the information we need to give you a full response to your complaint.

When the investigation is complete, our Chief Executive will write a formal response letter to you.

If you are unhappy with our response to your complaint

If you are unhappy with the formal response letter from our Chief Executive, or if you have any questions you would like to ask, please let us know. We may be able to do more to help, for example we could ask someone to look at the way we investigated your complaint, or arrange a meeting with you to discuss what we found in more detail.

If there is nothing else we can do to help and you remain unhappy with our service or the way we have responded to your complaint, you can ask for an independent review from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. You should contact them within 12 months of the date we sent you our response to your complaint.

The Ombudsman was established to ‘investigate complaints that individuals have been treated unfairly or have received poor service from government departments and other public organisations and the NHS in England’.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman helpline number is 0345 015 4033. You can also write to them at:

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

Alternatively you can access their website - www.ombudsman.org.uk

Contacting our complaints office

Our complaints office can be contacted by phone, fax or e-mail. The office is open between 9.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). Please note that we do not offer a 'drop-in' service for complaints.

Please note that calls to the Patient Experience Team maybe recorded for training or monitoring purposes.

Complaints office contact details:-

  • Telephone - 01344 415662. If we are unable to answer your call, please leave a message and we will respond within two working days.

  • Fax - 01344 415627

  • E-mail - BHCT.complaints@berkshire.nhs.uk

The address for formal complaint letters

If you would like to make a formal complaint, please put your concerns in writing to:

Julian Emms
Chief Executive
Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
3rd Floor
Fitzwilliam House
Skimped Hill Lane
Bracknell
Berkshire
RG12 1BQ

The full Berkshire Healthcare complaint policy can be found here.