The Trust is committed to providing quality services for its service users, but to help us maintain this, we need to know when things go wrong and also when things go right. Service users and carers can help us to improve and develop our services by giving us their comments.
Complainants can expect their concerns to be dealt with fairly, effectively and promptly. Service users, carers and relatives should not be treated differently as a result of making a complaint. A random sample of complainants are surveyed annually in relation to their satisfaction with the complaints procedure; this survey includes a question asking if complainants feel they have been discriminated against as a result of making a complaint. If a complainant indicates that they believe they have been discriminated against as a result of making a complaint this will be reviewed by the Head of Corporate Affairs and any appropriate remedial action taken (this may include staff training). The complainant survey also includes questions regarding the ethnicity of complainants. This information is used to ensure that the complaints process is accessible and accessed by all sections of the community.
It is important for us to know when we are doing things right – so that we can carry on doing so and ensure that staff receive the appropriate encouragement and praise. Your compliments are always welcome and will be passed to the relevant member of staff and their managers. Either fill in a Fastrack form (available at all our sites) or drop us a line at the address below.
Minor queries or grumbles than can be easily resolved can be logged with the Complaints Department either by telephone or through the use of a Fastrack form. The Fastrack form is a quick way of getting comments ot the Complaints Department. Fastrack forms are available at all our sites and can instantly be recognised by their bright yellow colour. Just fill in the form and post it back to us in the internal mail. It won’t cost you a penny. You should receive an acknowledgement of your Fastrack within two working days of receipt and a response should be with you within two weeks of receipt.
Making a complaint
Under the NHS Complaints Procedure a complaint can be made by a current or former service user or person affected by, or likely to be affected by, the actions of the Trust. A complaint can also be made by someone acting on behalf of the service user or person, with their consent. If consent is not received, the complaint will still be investigated and a written response given. However, the response will not contain an individual’s personal health information.
The complaint must be made within twelve months of the event which caused the problem, or within twelve months of the complainant becoming aware of a cause for complaint. There is discretion to extend this time limit where it would be unreasonable in the circumstances for the complaint to have been made earlier, and where it is still possible to investigate the facts of the case.
You can put your complaint in the form of a letter to the Complaints Department or email us. Alternatively, you may wish to telephone us to discuss your concerns (see contact details below). On receipt of your complaint we will write to you to outline an investigation plan which will include the action to be taken by the investigating officer and the anticipated timescale for responding to your complaint.
If you require independent help in making your complaint, advocacy support and advice is available from either Sheffield Mental Health Advocacy Service or from NHS Complaints Advocacy (contact details below). The Care Quality Commission can help with complaints about health services received if you have been detained, are subject to guardianship or are on Supervised Community Treatment (contact details below).
Your complaint will be investigated by a senior manager and you will receive a written response from the Chief Executive. Where it has not been possible for us to respond within the planned timescale, we will contact you with an update on the complaint investigation and the reason for the delay. The Trust’s response will include an apology, where appropriate, an explanation of the events surrounding the cause for complaint and details of any actions the Trust intends to take in order to prevent a recurrence of the situation/event. Any recommendations made as a result of the investigation will be incorporated into an action plan which will be monitored closely.
What if I am unhappy with the Chief Executive’s response?
If you are dissatisfied with the response, please contact us explaining why you are not satisfied and we will try to resolve any remaining areas of concern. We may arrange for you to meet with senior staff in an attempt to resolve your complaint. If you remain unhappy, you can refer your complaint to the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman (contact details below).
For all enquiries concerning compliments and complaints please contact:
Head of Corporate Affairs
Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Foundation Trust
Old Fulwood Road
Please note this e-mail address is not encrypted. We strongly recommend that no personal, sensitive or confidential information is sent via e-mail.
Independent help when making a complaint
Our complaints procedure has been made as straightforward as possible and we will make sure that you are kept informed at every stage. However, if you would like independent advice or assistance, you may wish to contact one of the following organisations:
Sheffield Mental Health Advocacy Service Michael Carlisle Centre
Sheffield Healthwatch is the new consumer champion to give adults, children and young people a powerful voice about health and social care services. Healthwatch Sheffield works with local people to improve health and social care and help people to get the best out of those services. You can contact Healthwatch Sheffield on (0114) 2536688; e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at: http://www.healthwatchsheffield.co.uk/.
Care Quality Commission
Care Quality Commission Mental Health Act
Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 4PA
Tel: (0300) 616161 (press 1 to speak to the mental health team)