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Making a complaint

Many issues can be resolved quickly by speaking directly to staff at the place where you received care or accessed a service.

Some people find it helpful to talk to someone who understands the complaints process first and get some guidance and support.

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is a free, confidential and independent service that you'll find in most hospitals. You can speak with a PALS member, who'll try to help you resolve issues informally with the hospital before you need to make a complaint.

PALS can be particularly helpful if your issue is urgent and you need action immediately, such as a problem with the treatment or care you receive while in hospital.

If you remain unhappy following this, PALS can offer guidance on whether the issues are eligible to be investigated under the NHS Complaints Procedure, which includes investigations of concerns around healthcare, and can assist you in making a formal complaint if necessary.


If you require any help with or further information on using our feedback services, please contact PALS via our online form or call 0800 028 4203.

If you require an easy access form then please click here.

If you would like to write to the Chief Executive Officer, please address it to:

Professor Andrew Hardy
Chief Executive Officer
University Hospital
Clifford Bridge Road
Coventry CV2 2DX

Independent Health Complaints Advocacy service for Coventry and Warwickshire is provided by VoiceAbility

Telephone: 0300 3031660

The CQC (Care Quality Commission) has produced three leaflets around the standards you can expect while in hospital and general information on how to make a complaint. These are available to download below.

What standards you have a right to expect from the regulation of your hospital

Checking your hospital for the care you should expect to get

How to complain about a health or social care service

In order to make a formal complaint about the care you have received please, write to the Complaints Manager at:

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

Clifford Bridge Road



If you are complaining on behalf of a friend or relative, permission from the patient will be required in the form of a counter-signature on the letter of complaint. This is to ensure the patient gives consent for us to access their medical records, liaise with external agencies, if needed, and respond to you with our findings. If this raises any questions, please telephone 0800 028 4203.

Please click here to read an information leaflet about how to make a formal complaint and click here for a template of a sample complaints letter.

If you are writing a complaint on behalf of someone else, that person will need to sign and complete the appropriate consent form which can be found by clicking here.

Alternatively, you can click here for advice from the NHS Complaints leaflet.

Healthwatch Coventry and Healthwatch Warwickshire are the local champions for health and social care. They are independent and are not part of NHS or care services. They:

  • Answer questions about local NHS and care services
  • Link to the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service that supports those making a complaint about NHS services
  • Gather information about what people think about NHS and care services to influence the planning and delivery of services

Healthwatch Coventry (for people who live in Coventry)

Phone: 0300 012 0315 (Monday to Friday 11am-3pm)



Healthwatch Warwickshire (for people who live in Warwickshire)

Phone: 01926 422823 (Monday to Friday 10am-3pm)




We encourage all of our patients, their carers or relatives to speak up if they have been dissatisfied with the standard of care in our Trust. You should tell a member of staff as soon as you are aware of the problem.

With most concerns an explanation and reassurance can be provided straight away and any issues resolved. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this you can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).


Anyone who is receiving treatment or has received NHS treatment can complain and if you feel your treatment is affected due to raising a concern you should again contact the Complaints Manager.

If you are unable to complain yourself you can ask a friend or relative to make the complaint for you. This will require your consent to enable us to take the matter forward, for us to liaise with any other provider involved and to respond to the person making the complaint on your behalf.


It is important that you make your complaint as soon as possible after the event you wish to complain about, but generally under the NHS Complaints Procedure it is only possible to investigate complaints made:

  • Within 12 months of the event or
  • Within 12 months of you realising you have something to complain about.


If we cannot resolve your concern immediately we will acknowledge your concern or complaint within three working days. A contact number will be provided to give you the opportunity to ring and discuss your concerns.A thorough and fair investigation will then be carried out and we aim to provide a written response from the Chief Executive within 25 working days. If this timescale cannot be met then we will contact you with an explanation.


It is important to the Trust that we do all we can to resolve your complaint. If you are still dissatisfied after receiving the Chief Executive’s response, the opportunity is there for you to contact the Complaints Service who will be happy to go through the options with you. This may result in further correspondence from us, or a meeting.

If you’re not happy with our final response to your complaint and would like to take the matter further, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman makes final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS, government departments and some other public organisations. The service is free for everyone.

To take a complaint to the Ombudsman, go to or call the helpline 0345 015 4033. It is important you make your complaint as soon as you receive our final response as there are time limits for the Ombudsman to look into complaints.