Home Who we are Contact Making a Complaint Making a Complaint: Clinical Services

Making a Complaint: Clinical Services

Guidance on how to raise a concern or make a complaint about the clinical services provided by Kirkwood Hospice.

1. Introduction

At Kirkwood Hospice we always aim to provide high standards of care and services across the whole organisation.

The views of our service users are important to us and help to ensure that we are consistently meeting people’s needs. If you are unhappy with any of our clinical services it is important that you let us know.

Clinical services include:

  • In patient care,
  • Community care,
  • Support and therapy
  • Counselling and bereavement

If a complaint alerts us to possible abuse or neglect we will take action in accordance with the Kirkwood Hospice Safeguarding policy.


2. Purpose

The purpose of this document is to provide a clear process for advising anyone who wishes to raise a concern or make a complaint about our clinical services and to set out the action that will be taken to ensure that your concerns or complaints are investigated and dealt with in an open, sensitive, transparent, timely and confidential manner.


3. Making a suggestion

Often people feel more comfortable about suggesting improvements rather than complaining formally. Anyone receiving clinical services, and their friends or family, may make a suggestion.

In the first instance you should speak to the Manager or Deputy of the department you are (or had) been using they will be very receptive to your suggestions.

Alternatively Kirkwood Hospice has a range of methods for collecting feedback, or suggestions from service users for example there are suggestion cards in all clinical areas and questionnaires are provided by our community nurses. We also collect feedback using an I PAD on the in- patient unit if you would rather make your suggestion that way.

If your suggestion is something that affects the whole organisation then either write to us by letter/email or telephone, our contact details are below:

The Registered Manager
Kirkwood Hospice
21 Albany Road

Email: info@kirkwoodhospice.co.uk
Telephone: 01484 557900


4. Raising a concern

A ‘concern’ is defined as any issue which whilst using a service at Kirkwood Hospice has  caused concern and when raised with the Service Manager or Deputy the issue is resolved satisfactorily at the time it was brought to their attention or within a maximum of 5 working days.

You can raise a concern:

  • In person
  • By telephone
  • Email
  • In writing

A representative may raise a concern for the affected person if they:

  • Cannot make a complaint themselves
  • Has given consent in writing for the representative to act on their behalf
  • Has died

You can raise a concern with any Kirkwood Hospice employee or volunteer at any time, they will listen carefully and record your concern, they will always deal with you sensitively and in confidence and will ensure that your concern is passed to the appropriate Service Manager or Deputy who will then take the necessary action including contacting you about your concern and the action they have taken or intend to take.

If your concern is not resolved satisfactorily it will be then treated as a complaint. 


5. Making a complaint

We aim to handle complaints quickly, effectively and in a fair and honest way. We take all complaints seriously and use valuable information from investigating them to help us improve the services we provide.

All complaints are treated in confidence Kirkwood Hospice seeks to assure service users and their families that it will not withdraw or reduce services because someone makes a complaint in good faith.

A complaint can be made:

  • In person
  • By telephone
  • By email
  • In writing
  • Through social media

With complaints made via our social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, which are regularly and frequently monitored, an acknowledgement will be posted on the relevant platform by the Media and Marketing Team. This acknowledgement will include a request to contact Kirkwood Hospice offline in order to agree your preferred form of future communication. This information will then be forwarded onto the relevant Manager. If out of normal office hours this will happen on the next working day.

A representative may make a complaint for the affected person if they:

  • Cannot make a complaint themselves
  • Has given consent for the representative to act on their behalf
  • Has died

If you are not happy about making a complaint yourself and you do not know someone who can talk or write to us on your behalf, we will be happy to find someone from an independent organisation to act as an advocate for you.

If you wish to complain please address any written correspondence to:

Michael Crowther
Kirkwood Hospice
21 Albany Road

Where someone complains orally we will make a written record and provide a copy of it within 5 working days by letter or by email.


6. Anonymous complaints

We deal with anonymous complaints under the same procedure; however it is better if you can provide contact details as we may need additional information from you and also we can tell you about the outcome of our investigations.


7. Responsibility

The Chief Executive Officer for Kirkwood Hospice has overall responsibility for dealing with all complaints made about any of our services.

We will provide as far as is reasonably practical any help you need to understand the complaints procedure; or advice on where you may get that help.

The Registered Manager is responsible for dealing with clinical services complaints but may ask another member of the Clinical Management Team to investigate the complaint. That person will have enough seniority and experience to deal with the issues outlined in your complaint and will act as your Complaints Investigator.

The Complaints Investigator will:

  • Acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days.
  • Give you their name and contact details and ask you how you wish to be contacted and may offer to meet with you to discuss your complaint.
  • Treat you with courtesy and respect.
  • Keep you informed about the progress of the investigation.
  • Aim to have the complaint finalised within 20 working days or if this isn’t possible agrees a different time scale with you.
  • Inform you when the investigation is completed, and may arrange to meet with you to discuss the outcome, and write to you with details of the findings.
  • Tell you about any action that has been or is planned to be taken and set out proposals to resolve your complaint.
  • Will keep your information confidential.


8. Time limits

You should make a complaint as soon as you can after the date on which the event occurred or came to your notice. If you complain more than twelve months later, we may not be able to investigate properly. But we shall also consider whether you had good reason for not making the complaint sooner and whether, despite the delay, it is still possible to investigate the complaint effectively and fairly.


9. Further steps

At any stage during the process, if you are not happy with the way the Kirkwood Hospice is dealing with your complaint you can contact the Chief Executive Officer at our address in section 3.


10. Appeals Process

Once we have dealt with your complaint, if you are not happy with the result you can write to the Chair of Trustees at the above address within 10 working days of receipt of the letter informing you of the outcome of the investigation.

If after due consideration the Chair of Trustees decides that a secondary investigation is warranted you will be informed in writing within a further 10 working days.

The Chair of Trustees will base the decision on the following criteria:

  • That new information has come to light not previously considered in the first investigation
  • That the complaint relates to a new episode of care

A different Complaints Investigator will be allocated to your case and a second investigation commenced.

If after due consideration the Chair of Trustees decides that no further action is to be taken the complaint is closed and the outcome recorded. 

After going through the appeals process if you remain dissatisfied with the response to your complaint, you have the option to request an independent review of your complaint and how it was dealt with by Kirkwood Hospice from the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman.

Contact details are via the Health Service Ombudsman website: www.ombudsman.org.uk/make-a-complaint or Telephone: 0345 015 4033

Address for written correspondence:

Millbank Tower


11. Further Information


Kirkwood Hospice services are registered with and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC cannot get involved in individual complaints about providers, but is happy to receive information about health services at any time.

Care Quality Commission National Correspondence
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel: 03000 616161
Website: www.cqc.org.uk

Need clinical advice?
Call our advice line on:

01484 557910

24 hrs a day