Giving feedback

Community staff member, a woman with a phone headset on her head, looking and smiling at the camera

We welcome and value your feedback on our services as we recognise that this helps us to identify those aspects of our service where we can improve.

How to give us feedback

If you have had a good experience while a patient at our hospital then we would love to hear from you. Your feedback is very valuable information and we are grateful for you taking the time.

Positive feedback is welcomed and helps us to understand what is important for you as a patient, carer, relative or as a visitor.

Please share any feedback on our NHS Choices page and we will ensure your views are shared with our staff or your compliments can be sent directly to the appropriate Ward Manager.

Healthwatch Surrey

Healthwatch Surrey is an independent service listening to Surrey residents’ experiences of health and social care in Surrey.

They provide feedback, reports and recommendations to service providers and decision makers to influence, inform and, if necessary, challenge decisions and plans both for existing services and new ones.

Their Helpdesk can also provide advice and information about health and care services:

You can contact the team via:

  • Telephone: 0303 303 0023
  • SMS (text only): 07592 787533
  • Email

You can also share your feedback on the Care Opinion website. This service is independent of the Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust and the NHS. 

How to make a complaint

If you have a concern about your care, the care of a relative or about any aspect of our services, in the first instance you should discuss your concerns with the Nurse or Doctor looking after you or your relative, or, Ward Sister or Matron.

If you would like to speak to a member of the doctors team including the consultant, you can ask a member of the nursing staff or reception staff to arrange an appointment for you. Some wards have relative’s clinics to facilitate communication with the doctors caring for you or your relative.

If you are unable to resolve your concerns by talking to a member of staff, you may wish to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), which provides support and advice to patients, their families and friends.

If you are still not satisfied and the problem still remains unresolved you can make a formal complaint.

Tips on making a complaint.

How do I make a formal complaint?

If you wish to make a formal complaint you can do so by:

  • writing to the Chief Executive at the following address: 
    Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust , Egerton Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7XX
  • emailing your complaint
  • telephoning the Complaints Team on 01483 402757.

Please be assured your care and treatment provided by the Trust will not be affected as a result of making a complaint.

How are complaints investigated?

The notes below are a brief guide to our complaints procedure, if you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact our Complaints Team.

  • We will take your complaint seriously, treat correspondence in confidence, fully investigate all of your concerns and advise you of our findings.
  • Our response will be objective, open, honest, address all the concerns and we will explain any clinical terminology.
  • We will include an explanation of what happened and why.
  • Our response will advise you of the actions taken to improve our service as a result of your experience and include an appropriate apology.
  • We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days of receipt, and provide you the contact information for our  Complaints Team .
  • If you have anything to add to your initial comments, we would appreciate receiving these as soon as possible.
  • If the complainant is not the patient, we will seek authority from the patient to disclose their medical information to a third party.
  • We will ask for reports from the staff involved to help us investigate your concerns.
  • We will provide a written response within 25 working days or as soon as our investigation is complete.
  • If we are unable to meet these timescales we will write to you to explain why. 
  • Making a complaint as an inpatient or outpatient will not adversely affect the care you receive.
  • We will not file your complaint correspondence in the patient’s medical records.

We hope our reply will answer your concerns in full. However, if you remain dissatisfied, we would encourage you to contact us again as we are keen to provide a mutually satisfactory conclusion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the Chief Executive see my complaint?

When your complaint is received by the Trust, it will be passed to the Complaints Team who is responsible for reviewing all complaints and sending them to the relevant teams for their responses. An acknowledgement letter will then be prepared for you and passed to the Chief Nurse for signing. The Chief Nurse (who is part of the Executive Team) will then review each case individually to assess whether or not it needs to be discussed at the Trust's executive safety meeting, if serious concerns relating to patient safety have been identified.

Once the investigation has been completed, you will receive a signed written response from the Chief Executive. In order to provide this response, the Chief Executive will review your complaint and the response prior to signing to ensure that it addresses all of the concerns that you have raised. In the Chief Executive’s absence, your response will be signed by another member of the Trust’s Executive Team.

What if I need help writing a complaint?

If you live in Surrey and are unhappy with the NHS treatment you have receivedthe Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service can provide free, confidential and independent support to help you to make a complaint about an NHS service. This service is provided by Healthwatch Surrey in partnership with SILC (Surrey Independent Living Charity).

You can contact the team via:

  • Telephone: 01483 310 500
  • Text (SMS): 07704 265 377
  • Email

When should I expect to receive a response to my complaint?

The Trust aims to respond to all formal complaints within 25 working days of receipt. Sometimes investigations can take longer than this, in which case you will be sent a holding letter informing you of this.

What can I do if I am unhappy with the outcome of my complaint?

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint, please contact the Complaints Team to discuss the options available to you. These include; the Trust providing a second written response to your outstanding concerns or arranging a Local Resolution Meeting with staff involved in your complaint to discuss and resolve your concerns face to face.

Alternatively, you have the right to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman (PHSO). Their contact details can be found below:

Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman
Address: Citygate, Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3HQ

Tel: 0345 015 4033

I have been offered a Local Resolution Meeting. What is this and what can I expect to happen during this meeting?

A Local Resolution Meeting is an opportunity for complainants to meet with the relevant Trust staff involved in their complaint in order for their concerns and questions to be addressed face to face. Sometimes, people find this preferable to receiving a written response.

These meetings take place on a date and time that is suitable for both you (and your friend/family member if you choose to attend with one) and the staff involved. A member of the Complaints Team will also be present to take an audio recording of the meeting (a copy of which is provided to you afterwards) and to ensure that you have the opportunity to have your concerns heard and addressed.

Local Resolution Meetings typically take between 60-90 minutes and 90 minutes is the maximum time allocated for these meetings to take place. These meetings take place at the Trust in one of our meeting rooms.

During a Local Resolution Meeting, you will be welcomed to share your thoughts, feelings and questions with staff who will in turn attempt to answer your questions as best as possible and provide explanations as to why things have happened.

If you are invited to attend a Local Resolution Meeting, we ask that you are polite and respectful in your manner towards the staff that you meet with and we commit to treating you with the same respect in return. We understand that complainants may feel a mixture of emotions including hurt, upset, frustrated and angry however it is important that these meetings are as productive as possible.

Can I complain anonymously?

Yes, however the information that can be provided to you will be limited without the ability to review the documentation surrounding your care.

Further, if you are expecting to receive a response we will be unable to do this without your contact details. Please be aware that all of our enquiries and complaints are treated confidentially.

Will I be treated differently or will my care be compromised if I complain?

Please be assured that your care and treatment provided by the Trust will not be compromised by your complaint.

I want to make a complaint on behalf of someone else. How do I do this?

After submitting your complaint to the Complaints Team you will receive an acknowledgment letter alongside a Form of Authority which will need to be completed and signed by the patient to confirm that they are happy for their details to be shared with you. If the patient has passed away, this form will need to be signed by their next of kin or the executor of the estate.

More information regarding this process can be obtained from the Complaints team.

I want to make a complaint on behalf of someone else but I don’t want them to know. How do I do this?

Unfortunately without the consent of the patient, we will be unable to share specific details regarding their care with you. We will however be able to provide you with a response omitting these details although we recognise that this may not be able to fully address your concerns.

My complaint is about a specific member of staff, will they see my complaint?

When a complaint is raised about a particular member of staff, in the first instance, when logging the complaint, the Complaints Team will ensure that the staff members name is recorded on the Datix (the Trust's internal, electronic database) complaint record.

When the complaint is sent out for investigation, the Complaints Team will send a copy of the complaint to the Divisional Triumvirate (Chief of Service, Associate Director of Operations & Head of Nursing) and include the relevant staff members Line Manager/Clinical Supervisor. This is to ensure that the complaint is not sent directly to the staff member by the Complaints Team and so that the appropriate manager can share the complaint with them in the appropriate manner.

The Complaints Team will ask the relevant manager to prepare the overall response once they have obtained a statement/response from the staff member concerned on their recollection of events. This provides the complainant with reassurance that their concerns have been appropriately reviewed and taken seriously. The response is then passed back to the Complaints Team who utilise this to write the final response on behalf of the Chief Executive.

All draft responses are reviewed and approved by the relevant Divisional Triumvirate before being passed to the Chief Executive for sign off. If the Chief Executive requests any further information or any changes, this is completed before the final complaints letter is signed by the Chief Executive.

When staff are approaching their annual appraisals, the Complaints Team are on hand to provide any information relating to formal complaints received by running a Datix search.

I want to see a copy of my medical records, how do I do this?

All requests for medical records need to be made directly with the Medical Records Department

Upheld complaints.

Friends and Family Test patient survey

Friends and Family Test 

The NHS Friends and Family Test is a nationwide initiative to gain feedback from patients about the care and treatment they receive in hospital. Patients are asked whether they would recommend NHS services to their friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment.

The Friends and Family Test is rolled out to all departments across the Trust including, outpatients, maternity services and paediatrics. Every patient that receives treatment in these areas can give feedback about the quality of care they have received.

To take part in the survey please click this link.