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Comments and complaints

Listening, Responding, Improving

How to make a comment or complaint about the NHS Services we commission

The following information aims to help people who wish to make a comment or complaint about any NHS service funded by this CCG. 

These services include: 

  • Urgent and emergency care (including NHS111, A&E and ambulance services)
  • Out-of-hours primary medical services
  • Elective hospital care
  • Community health services (such as rehabilitation services, speech and language therapy, continence services, wheelchair services, and home oxygen services
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Maternity and newborn services (excluding neonatal intensive care)
  • Children’s healthcare services (mental and physical health)
  • Services for people with learning disabilities
  • Mental health services (including psychological therapies)
  • Infertility services.

To make a comment about our services, or if you have a suggestion, please contact us or submit your query using our web form.

To make a complaint, please contact: 

NEL Patient Experience Team

Phone: 03000 424244 
Email: NELCSU.Secomplaints@nhs.net

If you would like to view a record of previous comments and complaints received by NHS South Kent Coast CCG, please view our complaints archive

Who can make a complaint

Anyone can make a complaint including:

  • A patient
  • Someone acting on behalf of the patient with their written consent
  • Anyone affected by the actions of an NHS body.


When to make a complaint

Make your complaint as soon as possible, while memories are still fresh. Usually the NHS will only deal with complaints made within 12 months of the event that you are complaining about, or within 12 months of finding out that you had something to complain about. This time limit may be waived if there are good reasons why you were not able to complain earlier and an effective investigation can still be carried out. 

What to include when making a complaint:

  • Your name, address, email (if possible) and telephone number
  • The full name, address, email (if possible) and telephone number of the patient concerned (if that is not yourself) and their written permission (a signature on the letter will suffice)
  • A summary of what happened with dates, if possible
  • A list of the questions that you would like answered
  • What you want to happen as a result of your complaint
  • Permission for us to copy the complaint to the people who need to take part in the investigation.

Who will deal your complaint

Complaints received by South Kent Coast Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be investigated by NEL Commissioning Support Unit. NEL CSU is hosted by NHS England, and provides a number of administrative functions including managing the complaints process for South Kent Coast CCG.

As part of this process, NEL CSU will: 

  • acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days after receipt
  • work with us to ensure you receive a response within 25 working days, or sooner in most cases
  • keep you informed while your concerns are being investigated 

This process may involve: 

  • accessing your records (with your consent) and disclosing relevant information to us
  • using your information for other purposes, such as monitoring the complaints process or improving service quality. Where possible, only anonymous information will be used. If identifiable data is needed for other purposes, then your consent will be obtained.

What will happen next?

  • When the investigation is complete, you will be written to with the outcome, including any improvements that have been, or will be made as a result of your complaint.
  • It is hoped that your complaint will be resolved at this stage. If that is not the case, please contact us and we will discuss your concerns.
  • If you are unhappy with the way your concerns have been handled, you can ask the Health Service Ombudsman (see below) to review your complaint.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower, 
London, SW1P 4QP 
Phone: 0345 015 4033
E-mail: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk
Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk 

Help in making your complaint

SEAP (Support, Empower, Advocate, Promote) is available to support you and represent your views when making a complaint about the NHS.


7th Floor, Cavendish House, Breeds Place, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 3AP
Phone: 0330 440 9000
Email: info@seap.org.uk
Website: www.seap.org.uk

Comments or complaints about other NHS services

For information and comments about services funded by NHS England, please visit their website. The services they fund include:

  • GP Practices
  • Pharmacies
  • NHS opticians
  • NHS dental services
  • Health services for people in prisons and other custodial settings (adult prisons, young offender institutions, juvenile prisons, secure children's homes, secure training centres, immigration removal centres, police custody suites)
  • Health services for members of the armed forces and their families
  • Specialised and highly specialised NHS services

Please note: this information is available in other languages on request. Please contact NEL CSU Communications Team on 03000 424246 or email communications.KMCS@nhs.net  if you need this information in another format or language.