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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.

You can read NHS Kernow’s Complaints Report for 2015/16 here

You can find information about making a complaint on this page, in our complaints leaflet (also available in easy read and Polish) or our complaints and compliments policy.

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 are not happy with the response to your complaint at the first stage, you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (telephone 0345 015 4033 or email for an independent review of your case. The Health Service Ombudsman is an independent organisation and you can find out more about how they can help with your review here.

How to contact NHS Kernow's Complaints Manager

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

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 NHS organisations

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

Cornwall Council (Education, health and social care)
Floor 1 East, New County Hall, Treyew Road, Truro TR1 3AY
Telephone: 0300 1234 100

Cornwall Health
Unit 10 Manaton Court, Manaton Close, Matford, Exeter EX2 8PF
Telephone: 01392 822340

Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Fairview House, Corporation Road, Bodmin PL31 1FB
Telephone: 01208 834620

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Derriford Road, Crownhill, Plymouth PL6 8DH
Telephone: 01752 431651/432039/432041

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust
Treliske, Truro TR1 3LJ
Telephone: 01872 253474

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

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 seAp, who provide a local Health Complaints Advocacy Service.

Cornwall Office, PO Box 375, Hastings TN34 9HU
Telephone: 0300 343 5706

Please note that this service is free and independent of the NHS, other advocacy providers may charge you for their services. You can find out more about seAp here. For tips on making a complaint, click here

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

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