Complaints

If you feel that your concerns have not been put right you can make a formal complaint.

If you are a sign language user you might also be interested in watching this video from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman which uses sign language to give tips on how to complain to the NHS.

Complaints can be received from:

  • Current or past patients of the Trust
  • Representatives of patients (e.g. relatives, friends or carers) acting with their written consent
  • People acting on behalf of deceased patients – with the consent of the patient’s next of kin

Timing of a complaint:

  • You should make your complaint as soon as possible after the event
  • Your complaint should be no later than 12 months after the event, or no later than 12 months after the date when you became aware of the problem.

How to complain:

  • In the first instance you should call our Patient Advice and Liaison Team (PALS)
    • On 0121 333 8403/8505. There is a 24 hours answerphone service and the PALS Team aim to return your call on the next working day 
    • You can also contact PALS via email on bwc.pals@nhs.net

Taking things further

In the instance that our PALS Team are unable to resolve your complaint you can contact our Formal Complaints Team on:

  • At Birmingham Children’s Hospital on 0121 333 8961/9391 or at Birmingham Women's Hospital on 0121 335 8226. There is a 24 hours answerphone service and the Complaints Team aim to return your call on the next working day 
  • Our contact address is:
    Birmingham Children’s Hospital

Complaints Team - Corporate Nursing
Birmingham Children’s Hospital
Steelhouse Lane
Birmingham
B4 6NH

  • Birmingham Women’s Hospital

Complaints Team - Corporate Nursing
Birmingham Women’s Hospital
Mendelsohn Way
Edgbaston

Birmingham
B15 2TG

  • If we cannot resolve your concerns within 24 hours through our PALS team we will investigate your concerns under the NHS Complaints Regulations.  Please make your complaint in writing and send it to the Complaints Team or you can write to our Chief Executive Sarah-Jane Marsh on:
  • The Chief Executive
    Birmingham Women’s and Children's NHS Foundation Trust
    Steelhouse Lane
    Birmingham
    B4 6NH

In order to address your complaint, we will need you to give us the following information:

  • Your full name (at the time of the incident)
  • Your address and telephone number
  • Your date of birth
  • Your patient number (if you know it)
  • The ward or department involved
  • An outline of the nature of the complaint with as many facts as possible – dates, times, places and names.

If you are complaining on someone’s behalf, please also provide:

  • His/her full name (at the time of the incident)
  • His/her address and telephone number
  • His/her date of birth

What happens when I’ve sent my complaint?

When the Complaints Team and/or Chief Executive receives your complaint:

  • A member of the Complaints Team will process your complaint and send you an acknowledgement letter informing you of our complaints process. 
  • An investigating officer will be appointee to investigate your complaint and they will contact you to discuss your concerns and liaise with you about what is happening, how long this is likely to take and agree with you the best way to keep in touch with you (phone/email/letter).
  • The process may encompass one or all of the following and we can arrange any of these or other possible solutions for you:
    • a phone call from the manager in charge of the service can sort out your problems
    • a full investigation and a written response
    • a meeting to talk about your concerns
    • an apology
    • Identify learning.
  • We will also give you details of POhWER (the NHS Advocacy Service for Birmingham). This is a free, confidential service, which is independent of Birmingham Women’s and Children's. POhWER can help you make the complaint and support you throughout the process, including attending meetings with you.
  • If you have particular problems or disabilities we can find ways of providing you with the help and information you need.

Timescales of the complaint process:

  • We will send you an acknowledgement letter within three working days of receiving your complaint. We will always try to telephone you but if we cannot reach you we will write to you and ask you to call us. We are happy to call you back.
  • An investigating officer will contact you to discuss you concerns in more detail.
  • We will agree a reasonable timescale with you to give us enough time to respond to your complaint in the way we have agreed.
  • If it looks as though we cannot get back to you by the date we agreed, we will contact you to explain why this is and let you know when we will be in touch again.

Contact and communication with you:

  • When we first get in touch with you we will agree how we will respond to your complaint. This may be by a phone call from another department, a meeting with senior staff or a letter following a formal investigation.
  • When you complain, you will always receive an apology, an explanation of what we think has happened and why and learning to ensure that this will not happen to anyone else.
  • We will keep you updated with progress, using the means agreed during our initial contact (phone, email or letter).

More information

For further information please download our leaflet: Compliments, Concerns and Complaints [pdf] 121KB