Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

How to raise a concern or complaint

Whilst we are always pleased to receive comments in appreciation of our services, we acknowledge that we do not always get it right. We treat complaints seriously and want to ensure that we learn from them, taking action to improve our service. Our aim is to provide the highest standards of service and we welcome your comments and suggestions to assist us in achieving this aim.

Complaints procedure

There are two stages to the complaints procedure. ‘Local Resolution’ is the first stage, and 'Independent Review' is the second stage. You can use the NHS Complaints Procedure to complain about anything to do with services provided by United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Who can complain?

You can complain if you are a patient or if you have been affected, or are likely to be affected, by something an NHS organisation member of NHS staff has done or not done. You can also complain on behalf of someone else if you have his or her permission in writing.

What is the time limit for making a complaint?

As soon as possible. Complaints should normally be made within 12 months of the date of the event that you're complaining about, or as soon as the matter first came to your attention.

The time limit can sometimes be extended (so long as it's still possible to investigate the complaint). An extension might be possible, such as in situations where it would have been difficult for you to complain earlier, for example, when you were grieving or undergoing trauma.

Will my complaint be kept confidential?

If you are complaining about a treatment, the person investigating your complaint will need to get the relevant information from your records. If you don’t want them to do this, you should let the complaints manager know.

We also assure you that your care and service provision will not be negatively affected by the fact that you have made a complaint.

What if I have a concern or question?

If you find that staff cannot help you, or you are not comfortable speaking with them, you can contact PALS.

PALS is a confidential, on-the-spot, advice and support service for patients, relatives and carers. PALS act independently when handling patient and family concerns, liaising with staff, managers, or relevant organisations, to negotiate immediate or prompt solutions. PALS will not investigate complaints but PALS will inform and support people who wish to use the NHS complaints procedure.

Lincoln County Hospital
Located near Main Reception
Telephone 01522 707071

Pilgrim Hospital
Located in Main Reception
Telephone 01205 446243

Grantham and District Hospital
Located adjacent to Ward 6
Telephone 01476 464861

How to complain

First, please ask to speak to a member of staff as soon as you can. This could be a consultant, the ward sister, nurse in charge, matron, or the departmental manager. They will listen to your concerns and take action to ensure these are investigated and addressed as appropriate. You can also contact the PALS staff to assist you.

However, if you want to make written complaint, you can do this by writing to the Chief Executive or if you prefer you can email: or complete the online complaint form

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Lincoln County Hospital
Greetwell Road

Email: If you would like to contact PALS by email you can email

Website: Fill in the online feedback form.

When we receive your complaint we assess which services are involved and identify who should lead the investigation. We aim to acknowledge receipt of your complaint initially and then agree an investigation plan and an appropriate timescale for completion of our investigation and the reply to you.

When a member of staff telephone you on receipt of your complaint they will:

If you do not provide a telephone contact we will write to you outlining the investigation time required and the investigation plan.

Where appropriate we will offer you an early face-to-face meeting with the relevant staff to discuss your concerns. We have found this to be very helpful in resolving issues early on.

If there are issues that are not responded to then we will be happy to look again at the case and try and provide any further information, or arrange to meet with you to attempt further resolution.

What if I am not happy with Local Resolution?

If you are not happy with the response to your complaint you can ask the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman to investigate your complaint by writing to:

The Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower

Tel: 0345 015 4033
Fax: 0300 061 4000

Where can I get more advice and help?

Making a complaint can be daunting, but help is available from our team. In addition to this, independent advice can be sought from POhWER.

POhWER is one of the largest providers of advocacy services in the UK and England's largest provider of NHS Complaints Advocacy and supports anyone wishing to make a complaint about NHS care or treatment. This independent organisation can offer you confidential support free of charge.

0300 456 2370 (local rate charge)
PO Box 14043
B6 9BL
send the word 'pohwer' with your name and number to 81025
0300 456 2365
0300 456 2364

The support centre is open Monday to Friday from 8am - 6pm.

Complaint Leaflet

All of the information on this page is also available in our "How to raise a concern or complaint" leaflet (PDF, 43KB).