Compliments and complaints

We welcome feedback, positive or negative, about your experience of local NHS services as this helps us to improve services for patients.

Your experience of NHS services

The NHS always strives to provide high quality care and services, however, we acknowledge that sometimes things can go wrong and the following information aims to help you to have your concerns investigated and responded to quickly.

We welcome feedback – both positive and negative – about your experience of NHS services locally to help us continually improve those services for patients.

If you are pleased with a service, please share your positive experiences and suggestions either by writing to us at the address below or emailing us.

NHS South Tees CCG
14 Trinity Mews
North Ormesby Health Village

Or email us at  

If you’re unhappy with the treatment or service you, a relative or someone you care for has received from your local NHS we want to know. You have the right to make a complaint, have it looked into and get a response.  You can also raise your concerns immediately by speaking with the staff involved as this should help to resolve the problem quickly.

Within the NHS we aim to make sure all complaints are handled well and that appropriate action is taken.  We will do everything we can to try and resolve the matter to your satisfaction.

If you do raise a concern or complaint, please be assured this will not affect your care or treatment in any way.

Please be assured that our Chief Officer takes a personal interest in all complaints received about the CCG and is kept fully informed about matters which arise from complaints.  If your complaint is about the CCG, you can expect to receive a personal response from our Chief Officer.

We take a rigorous approach to the investigation of all complaints relating to services commissioned and provided by NHS South Tees CCG and seek to ensure we learn lessons and use these to make improvements to our services.

Making a complaint

Who can complain?

Anyone can complain about NHS services or treatment they have received.  Similarly, anyone who has been affected by the actions or decisions of an NHS organisation or a primary care service (that is a GP, dentist, community pharmacist or optician) can raise a complaint.  If you are unable to complain yourself, someone can act on your behalf with your consent.

Can my issue be resolved without formally complaining?

You can raise your concerns immediately by speaking with the staff involved.  This might give you the response you require more quickly and without having to take the matter further.

Most NHS Trusts have a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who can provide confidential advice and support about your NHS care informally without having to make a formal complaint.  However, it is important to note that:

  • PALS does not investigate complaints but will provide informal support in resolving a query or concern
  • PALS cannot help with issues which have already been raised via the NHS complaints procedure or with social care complaints
  • PALS does not provide medical advice

To find out more about PALS including services in your area go to the NHS Choices website.

Local Healthwatch provides information about access to services and choices available to help people by take more control of their own health, treatment and care.

For more information go to Local Healthwatch.

For general enquiries call: 01642 688312
For information and advice call: 0808 1729559

VisitHealthwatch Middlesbrough 
VisitHealthwatch Redcar & Cleveland 

Who can help me make a complaint?

The Independent Complaints Advocacy (ICA) team can guide and support you through the complaints process.  They can help put your complaint in writing and attend meetings with you; however, the ICA team does not investigate complaints.

You can contact the North East ICA on 0808 802 3000.

How do I make a complaint?

You can make your complaint in writing, by email, or verbally.  If you make your complaint verbally, you will be asked to sign and return a written record to ensure that you agree with the contents.  Alternatively, you can use the complaints form here to submit your complaint by email or post.

The NHS complaints procedure aims to resolve complaints quickly and as close to the source of the complaint as possible.  This is called ‘local resolution’ and means you should complain to the organisation that provided the service you’re unhappy with first, so, for example, the hospital, GP practice or dental surgery involved.

You can make your complaint in writing, by email, or verbally. If you make your complaint verbally, you will be asked to sign and return a written record to ensure that you agree with the contents.

Visit the NHS choices website to find out more about the NHS complaints procedure.

Where do I send my complaint?

If your complaint is about a hospital, community or mental health service you should send this to the NHS organisation involved.

If your complaint is about a GP practice, dental practice, community pharmacy or optician you should send it direct to that organisation.

If your complaint is about a CCG commissioning or funding decision you should send it to us by email to:

Or by post to:

NHS South Tees CCG

14 Trinity Mews

North Ormesby Health Village



We send all of our complaints to the North of England Commissioning Support Unit (NECS) to investigate on our behalf.  You must state in your complaint that you give your consent for your information to be shared with them.  If you do not give this consent there will be a delay in our ability to investigate your concerns as we will need to write to you and ask for your consent – until consent is received we will not be able to pass on your complaint to be investigated. 

What if I don’t want to complain direct to the service involved?

We are the commissioner of local hospital, community and mental health services and you can send your complaint about these services to us. However, our Complaints Team will, with your consent, need to forward your complaint to the relevant provider organisation, who will then investigate and respond to your complaint. As commissioners we will take your complaint seriously and will ask the provider to give us a copy of the response to your complaint on conclusion of the investigation.

NHS England is responsible for investigating complaints relating to primary care services (GP, dental, community pharmacy and opticians) and, if you prefer, you can send your complaint about these services direct to NHS England. Contact:

Tel:  0300 311 22 33


In writing: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT

When should I make a complaint?

A complaint should be made within 12 months from the date the issue occurred or when it came to your attention.  In some cases, if there is good reason why you could not complain sooner and if it is still possible to investigate your complaint, it may be possible to extend the time limit.

What happens if my complaint involves a number of different organisations?

If your complaint involves more than one NHS organisation or the NHS and social care system (provided by the local authority) you can make a single complaint to any one of the organisations and they will ensure that you receive a single, but co-ordinated response.

You can find your local CCG on the NHS Choices website.

What can I expect in response?

When you submit a complaint it is helpful if you could be clear what you would like to achieve as a result of making your complaint, so that the NHS can try to resolve the matter to your satisfaction.

Your complaint will be acknowledged within 3 working days and the Complaints Team will agree with you the way in which it will be managed, including when you can expect to receive the response.  Your complaint will be fully investigated in a manner that is fair to both you and staff involved.

If failings are identified during the investigation, any necessary changes will be made to improve the quality of services.

You will receive a written response to your complaint, which will include information on any service improvements.

What happens if I am unhappy with the response?

If you remain unhappy with how your complaint has been handled you can ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) to review your complaint.  By law, you should usually take your complaint to the PHSO within a year of when you first became aware of the problem. If it was more than a year ago the PHSO may still be able to help you if there were good reasons for the delay.

Contact the PHSO:

Helpline:        0345 015 4033


In writing:       Ombudsman at Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP


Other information

What is the commissioning support unit’s role in the local complaints process?

Local CCGs have asked the North of England Commissioning Support Unit (NECS) to manage complaints on their behalf.

If you send your complaint about a CCG commissioning or funding decision to the CCG, we will need to pass the information on to NECS so that they can handle this on our behalf. Please confirm in your correspondence your consent for the complaint to be shared with the NECS Complaints Team.  

If your complaint is about a function or service provided by the North of England Commissioning Support Unit you should send your complaint to:

Complaints Team

North of England Commissioning Support Unit

John Snow House

University Science Park



Tel:      0191 374 4218