Valuing your views

We constantly strive to improve services for you. We deliver front-line NHS services, giving first-rate care through our first-rate people and first-rate value. We welcome and value your views and comments about the services we provide.

Community Illustration

First Community provides front-line NHS community healthcare services in east Surrey and parts of West Sussex. We strive to deliver the best patient care but understand that we may not always get things right and when we don’t we would like to hear from you.

Your comments can help us to improve our services. We believe that if a mistake or error has been made, the patient, relative or carer should:

  • Receive an apology
  • Be told what happened and why it happened
  • Have their questions answered
  • Know what is being done as a result

No one will be discriminated against because they have made a complaint.

If you are unhappy with the treatment or service you have received from First Community you are entitled to make a complaint, have it investigated and receive a response from the organisation.

If you need independent confidential advice or assistance to make your complaint, you may wish to talk to the NHS Complaints Advocacy Service which is supported by your local Healthwatch. Details included below. 

Anyone using our services can complain.

A complaint can be made by a patient or person affected or likely to be affected by the actions or decisions of First Community.

A complaint can also be made by someone acting on behalf of the patient or person, with their consent.

You should normally complain within 12 months of the event concerned or 6 months of becoming aware of the reason for your complaint.

First Community has discretion to waive this time limit if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier.

We aim to resolve complaints quickly and thoroughly. Where possible, please raise your concerns immediately by speaking to a member of staff. They may be able to help you resolve your issue without the need for a formal complaint.

Local resolution aims to resolve complaints as quickly as possible using the most appropriate means; for example conciliation, or a face-to-face meeting.

However, if you do want to continue with your complaint, please do so by telephoning or writing to the address below.

Chief Executive, First Community Health and Care 2nd Floor, Forum House 41-51 Brighton Road, Redhill, RH1 6YS

Telephone: 01737 775 463

You can also contact us less formally by using the Contact Us form on our website

In accordance with our complaints procedure we will:

  • Acknowledge receipt of your complaint within two working days
  • Investigate your complaint thoroughly
  • Meet with you if this is the best way to resolve the problem
  • Send you a written response from the Chief Executive within 25 working days of receipt of your complaint
  • Let you know if the investigation is taking longer than expected
  • Apologise if appropriate and advise you of any action taken to put right any shortcomings that have been identified as a result of your complaint.

A meeting may be arranged with staff or possibly an independent conciliator to try and resolve the matter.

If you are not happy with our answer after we have looked into your complaint, you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to look at your complaint. Contact details are on the next page.

We are always pleased to receive positive feedback about your experiences of our services. Leave your feed- back on this page.

You can also contact the service directly or write to our Chief Executive at the address overleaf and your compliments will be passed on to the relevant staff.

Healthwatch

An independent organisation that gives people in Surrey a voice to improve services and help them in getting the best out of health and social care services.

Surrey

Tel: 0300 303 0023

Email: enquiries@healthwatchsurrey.co.uk Web: www.healthwatchsurrey.co.uk

West Sussex

Tel: 0300 012 0122

Email: helpdesk@healthwatchwestsussex.co.uk Web: www.healthwatchwestsussex.co.uk

NHS Complaints Advocacy

Provides support if you are making a complaint. The service is confidential and independent of the NHS.

Tel: 0300 303 1660

Email: helpline@voiceability.org Web: voiceability.org

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Monitors, inspects and regulates health and social care services in England to ensure they are meeting national standards.

Tel: 03000 616161

Email: enquiries@cqc.org.uk Web: www.cqc.org.uk

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

Makes final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS and other public organisations.

Tel: 0345 015 4033

Web: www.ombudsman.org.uk

The Patients Association

An independent charity, `listening to patients and speaking up for change’. Helpline: 0800 345 7115

Email: helpline@patients-association.org.uk Web: www.patients-association.org.uk