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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together

Complaints and Compliments

How Complaints can help?

The Customer Relations complaints department provides information and guidance to service users, their relatives and visitors who wish to complain about the service our Trust provides. It also gives guidance and advice to staff who are involved in the investigation of a complaint. We will ask you how you wish to be contacted, be that by telephone or via email for example, and will ensure that you receive communication in this format for your convenience. 

How concerns will be dealt with?

Complaints received by the department are formally acknowledged within three working days, this may be an email, or a telephone call, or in the form of a letter. The Customer Relations Team then inform the Clinical Directors and Associate Directors of Operations of the complaint raised and appoint an investigating officer from an independent team, who will contact you to discuss your concerns in person if you wish. Our overall aim is to provide a full written response as speedily as possible, to a timescale based on the severity of your concern. This was introduced as an improvement to the complaints process, from September 2016 onwards. On occasion, we may be unable to provide a response within the timescale we have advised you of, in these circumstances you will be contacted to discuss the delay and be advised of the new timescale in which a full response is to be provided.

Our updated complaints policy includes the introduction of automatic timescales for complaint responses - the complaints team review your concern to establish the complexity of the complaint:

  • For single issue complaints the timescale for investigation and response - within 25 working days.
  • For cases where the case is multi-issue - within 30 working days.
  • The resolution date for major or complex medical complaints should be agreed with the complainant, taking into consideration the timescale for independent investigations. In normal circumstances, any complaint investigation of this nature will take no more than 6 months.

Please note

We are relocating offices so there may be some disruption to our service. We anticipate this disruption will be between Monday 27 February and Monday 13 March, we may therefore be longer than normal in responding to contact. We would like to apologise for any delays encountered, please be assured we will respond to any communication as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience.

What happens to my complaint when I have sent it to the Trust?

All NHS trusts must follow the NHS complaints procedure.  This aims to investigate the issues raised and to resolve and respond to concerns.  The response to the complaint will be sent from our Chief Executive.

How to contact the Complaints team?

Customer Relations - Complaints Department

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Trust Headquarters, 52 Queensbridge Road, Moseley, Birmingham. B13 8QY. 

(Administrative offices only – this is not a clinical site and service users, carers and members of the public cannot be seen in a clinical setting at B1. In addition there are no confidential meetings rooms available on site. Please call the PALS Freephone line to seek any assistance)

Tel: 0800 953 0045

Email: bsmhft.customerrelations@nhs.net

What happens if the complainant is not happy with the Trust’s response?

We offer a second independent opinion service, dependant on the type of complaint, if you are not happy with the initial response you have received from us. This is usually a second clinical opinion, undertaken by a clinician unconnected with your care. If you remain unhappy after you have received this second clinical opinion, we feel we have then exhausted our complaints process.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

If you remain dissatisfied following with the response(s) provided to you from us, you have the right to approach the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman.
I. After ensuring that the complaint is within their jurisdiction, the Ombudsman may check that everything has been done to resolve the issue at Trust level.  If they think more can be done, they will refer your issue back to the Trust for further investigation.
II. The Ombudsman will expect the Trust to have fully explored all issues raised before agreeing to review a case.
III. If you feel you would like the support of an independent advocate to support and assist with you in making a complaint, you can contact:
For Birmingham area:                                                   For Solihull area:
PoWHER                                                                      Solihull First Advocacy
PO Box 14043                                                              Lower Ground Floor

Birmingham                                                                  The Core
B6 9BL                                                                          Homer Road

                                                                                      B91 3RG

Tel: 0300 020 0093                                                        Tel: 0121 296 4277
e-mail: pohwer@powher.net                                          e-mail: contact@solihullfirstadvocacy.com 

Visit: www.pohwer.net 

If you wish to discuss an issue in confidence, or require further assistance, please contact: the Customer Relations Team, telephone: 0121 301 1084 or Freephone 0800 953 0045. Alternatively you can e-mail bsmhft.customerrelations@nhs.net

More useful contact information:

Samaritans on 116 123 - open 24 hours

SANELINE on 0845 767 8000 - open 1pm - 11pm every day
Birmingham Carers Centre - can offer advice on generic carers support groups
0121 675 8000

Solihull Carers Centre - can offer advice on generic carers support groups
0121 788 1143

Stonham Group - organise many of Birmingham's local carers support groups. Contact them to find out where your nearest group meets. Tel: 0121 380 4949

BSMHFT Lead for Carers Sandra Baker – sandra.baker3@nhs.net

Recovery for All - http://www.bsmhft.nhs.uk/service-user-and-carer/recovery/