Raising a concern

How to raise a concern about the NHS?


If you are unhappy with the treatment or service you have received at RJAH you are entitled to raise a concern, have it considered, and receive a response from the Trust.


You can do this verbally by contacting the hospital on 01691 404606 or by writing (including e-mail) to the Clinical Governance Team on rjah.pals.office@nhs.net or the Chief Executive at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic NHS Foundation Trust, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 7AG. If you raise your concern verbally, a written record will be made by the Governance Lead or another member of the team, and this will be checked with you to ensure that it is correct.


Your concerns can be dealt with informally, or on a more formal basis under the NHS Complaints Regulations. Please advise a member of the team whether you wish to raise a formal complaint or an informal concern.


Where can I get further advice and help?


The Clinical Governance Team can provide advice, including advice about local independent complaints advocacy services.


Healthwatch Shropshire provides an independent NHS Complains Advocacy Service to those living in Shropshire. The service can:


  • Give you enough information and advice so you can pursue a complaint by yourself
  • Offer you the support of an Independent Health Complaints Advocate who can help you make your complaint and support you through the process
  • Listen to your concerns and help you collect together all relevant issues and facts you need to highlight
  • Write letters to the right people
  • Monitor the progress of your complaint with the organisation responsible and keep you updated
  • Signpost you to the right organisation if Healthwatch Shropshire are not suitable 


For more information or to request a self-help pack, please contact 01743 342181 or go to their website.


For patients living in Telford and Wrekin, you can contact Engaging Communities Staffordshire on 0800 161 5600 or email advocacy@ecstaffs.co.uk.


For patients living in Wales, please contact your local Community Health Council (CHC).


Who can raise concerns?


Anyone who is receiving or has received NHS treatment or services can comment or complain. If you unable to do this yourself then someone else, usually a relative or close friend, can comment or complain on your behalf. We must, however, be satisfied that any complaint is being made with your knowledge and consent and, therefore, we will require written confirmation of this.


What is the time limit for raising a concern?


If you wish to raise a concern, it is important that you do so as soon as possible after the event you want to complain about happens.


The NHS will only investigate those concerns that are either made within twelve months of the event or made within twelve months of you realising that you have something to complain about. These time limits can be waived if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier but this will be looked at on a case by case basis.


Process for dealing with a written concern


All written concerns are acknowledged within three working days by a member of the Clinical Governance Team. The Trust will offer you the opportunity to discuss your concerns further with an appropriate manager to agree the subject matter you wish to be investigated and a timescale for responding.


If you do not wish to discuss your concern, we will investigate it and aim to respond to you within 25 working days. We will keep you informed of progress and if a longer period to investigate your complaint is necessary, the Trust will agree an extension to the original timescale with you.


We will need to involve staff members in the investigation, however, any information about you will be kept confidential and in no way will this affect the care you receive in the future.


Upon completion of the investigation, we may ask to meet with you to discuss your concern in detail and may suggest that the people responsible for your treatment are also present. You may bring a friend, relative or advocacy representative to the meeting.


You do not have to accept an invitation to a meeting. You may prefer to see the manager alone or just wait for a full written response from the Chief Executive.


Independent Review by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman


If you are unhappy with the Trust's response to your concern, then you can raise the issue with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is completely independent of the NHS and Government.


You can contact the Ombudsman at:

Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)
Mosley Street
M2 3HQ
Helpline: 0345 015 4033
Website: https://www.ombudsman.org.uk/