Making a complaint

NHS Kernow welcomes complaints, comments and suggestions about any aspect of the work it undertakes. It values your views and takes them into account when planning for the future and in trying to bring about improvements. Read NHS Kernow’s complaints report for 2018/19 (PDF, 663KB) 

Complaints about NHS Kernow

You can write, telephone or email the Complaints Manager: 

NHS Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group
Sedgemoor Centre, Priory Road, St Austell PL25 5AS 
Telephone: 01726 627800

Should you decide to contact the chief officer with concerns regarding the organisation, this will be passed to the complaints team who will contact you to discuss your concerns and determine the way forward. The complaints manager will ensure the chief officer is updated regarding your case.

Complaints about GPs, dentists, pharmacists and opticians

These are independent contractors and the law requires them to operate their own complaints procedures. You should direct your complaint to them. However, if you have concerns about doing so, please contact NHS England.

NHS England
PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT
Telephone: 0300 311 22 33

Complaints about other local organisations

For complaints about other local organisations, please contact the organisations below directly via their Complaints Manager. 

Cornwall 111 (out of hours care)
Governance department, Cornwall 111, Wellington House, Queen Street, Taunton TA1 3UF
Telephone: 01872 222400

Cornwall Council (Adult social care)
FREEPOST RRZJ-EUSJ-EGKL, Adult social care complaints, Cornwall Council, County Hall, Truro TR1 3AY
Telephone: 01872 326640

Cornwall Council (Children, schools and families) 
FREEPOST RRZJ-EUSJ-EGKL, Children, schools and families complaints, Cornwall Council, 3 West, County Hall, Truro TR1 3AY
Telephone: 01872 323164

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
PALS Office, Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Room 11, Banham House, Bodmin Hospital, Bodmin PL31 2QT
Telephone: 01208 834620

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Complaints department, Patient services, Level seven, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth PL6 8DH
Telephone: 01752 431651/432039/432041

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
Patient and family experience team (Complaints), Tower block, First floor, Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Truro TR1 3LJ
Telephone: 01872 252793

South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
Abbey Court, Eagle Way, Sowton Industrial Estate, Exeter EX2 7HY
Telephone: 01392 261505

How the complaints procedure works

Who can I complain to?
The general principle of the NHS complaints procedure is to complain to the organisation you consider to be at fault.

Who can complain?
You can complain if you have been affected, or are likely to be affected, by something NHS Kernow has or has not done. You can also complain on behalf of someone else if you have their permission in writing.

What is the time limit for making a complaint?
You should normally complain within one year of the event(s) happening, or within one year of becoming aware that you have something to complain about. This time limit can be extended if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier and if it is still possible to investigate the complaint effectively and fairly.

First stage - local resolution
Local resolution aims to sort out your complaint quickly and fairly. The complaints manager will talk to you about how to resolve your complaint. This will include setting a time limit for your complaint to be investigated and a response made. Please include your telephone number if you write to us, so that we can contact you. Please note, if you have already complained to your healthcare provider, the commissioner will not be able to re-investigate the same concerns.

Second stage - independent review
If you’re not happy with how we’ve dealt with 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 satisfactorily resolved by the NHS, government departments and some other public organisations. Their service is free for everyone. To take a complaint, visit their visit the Health Service Ombudsman ebsite or call 0345 015 4033.

Where can I get more help?

If you feel unable to make a complaint about an NHS service on your own and you would like the support of someone independent then you can contact The Advocacy People, who provide a local health complaints advocacy service.

They can be contacted through their website or by phone on 0330 440 9000. Please note that this service is free and independent of the NHS, other advocacy providers may charge you for their services. 

Should you have concerns around doctors, contact the General Medical Council. For concerns around nursing, contact the Nursing and Midwifery Council.