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Complaints

Connect Health is firmly committed to providing a high quality service
and continually improving the quality of service it provides

If you are unhappy with the treatment or service you have received from Connect, you are entitled to make a complaint, have it considered and receive a response in writing. This leaflet describes Connect’s complaints procedure, which is in line with the NHS complaints procedure.

Connect provide a range of services to the NHS, employers and the public, all of whom are included within this procedure.

Connect’s Principles for Managing Complaints

  • Connect aims to resolve complaints as quickly as possible, particularly through an immediate informal (verbal) response by front line staff
  • Connect will ensure that all complaints are handled promptly, openly and thoroughly
  • Connect’s complaints procedure will be fair to the complainant and Connect staff
  • Connect will ensure the process is supportive and without blame, leading to improvement in standards of service delivery, patient safety and care
  • Connect will carry out a full investigation which is focused on resolution being open and honest with all complainants
  • If resolution cannot be reached at local level, Connect will inform the complainant of how they can escalate their complaint or obtain an independent review of their complaint (if appropriate)

Who can complain?

A complaint can be made by a patient, a carer responsible for a patient or persons affected or likely to be affected by the actions or decision of Connect or its practitioners.

A complaint made by someone acting on behalf of the patient, must have the patient’s consent to do so.

To Whom Should I Raise my Concern/Complaint Initially?

The first stage of our Concern & Complaints Procedure is ‘Local Resolution’. Your complaint should be made in the first instance (verbal or written) to the individual practitioner who provided the service, or alternatively to the Connect Manager of that service.

‘Local resolution’ aims to resolve concerns and complaints quickly, as close to the source of the complaint as possible and, if possible, without the need to make a more formal complaint. In our experience, most complaints are due to simple areas of misunderstanding or unforeseen minor errors. In both instances, verbal dialogue, an explanation and if necessary an apology, is all that is required.

How Do I Make a Formal Complaint?

If local resolution has not been successful or if you feel your complaint is of such significance that it requires escalating to a higher authority, you will need to put your complaint formally in writing (by post, email, or via our website), either to the Manager responsible for the service you received, or to Connect’s Head Office, for the attention of Connect’s Complaints Coordinator (see below).

Please be aware that if you make your complaint verbally, a written record will only be made by Connect, at our discretion. If you make a complaint in writing, Connect will ensure it is logged formally and responded to in writing.

What is the Process for Reviewing my Complaint?

Connect’s timescales for managing complaints are in line with NHS Complaints Management Timescales. For all written complaints that we receive, you will receive:

  • Acknowledgement, within 3 working days of receipt
  • A full response, following a review from a Connect manager, within 30 working days

You should be kept informed of progress if, for any reason, this is not going to happen.

Where Can I Get Independent Advice & Help?

If for any reason, you are unhappy with Connect’s formal response to your complaint, then you should consult with the person/organisation who referred you to Connect (unless you referred yourself). If you were referred to Connect via the NHS, (i.e. paid for by your GP) you may have access the independent Patient Advice & Liaison Service, known as PALS, who support patients and carers in trying to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.

Find your local PALS via their website: www.pals.nhs.uk or through your GP Surgery.

The Health Service Ombudsman

NHS patients referred to Connect, who remain unhappy after local resolution and independent review, can seek a further review from the Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is independent of both the NHS and private organisations and can be contacted at:

Millbank Tower, 30 Millbank,
London
SW1P 4QP
Telephone: 0345 015 4033
Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk

How to Formally Lodge a Complaint

If you feel the need to make a ‘formal’ complaint about any aspect of treatment or care you have received from Connect, then please send your complaint in writing to:

The Complaints Coordinator
Connect Health (Central Office)
Floor 2 The Light Box,
Quorum Business Park,
Benton Lane
Newcastle upon Tyne,
NE12 8EU

If you prefer to email your complaint, then please send to: complaints@connecthealth.co.uk

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