Woman standing in a doorway holding a mobile phone

Deciding to make a complaint?

Making a complaint can feel daunting and scary, and you might be wondering whether it's worth the time and effort. However, if you have problems with an National Health Service (NHS) or social care service, you need to resolve this to get the care you need. 

Knowing how to make a complaint

Making a complaint can be a daunting task, so knowing who you can complain to and what to do is essential. 

We can help you. We've worked with Healthwatch England to produce straightforward advice will guide you through the process from knowing who to talk to, top tips on what to do and what you can expect from services in response. The link below provides more information about complaints across health and social care in general. It can be a complex and confusing system. If you are still not sure what to do or where to go contact our team and we will point you in the right direction for the particualr service you wish to complain about.

Read our complaints advice

Complaints advocacy services

Every area of England has an independent NHS complaints advocacy service funded by the local authority. They can help you make a complaint about an NHS service or work out what you want to achieve from a complaint.

If you are a resident in Tower Hamlets you can access NHS Advocacy support free from POhWER, who also provide a range of other advocacy services in the borough.

You can contact them by the following:

Call: 0300 456 2370

Or you can visit their website:

Go to POhWER's website

Patient Advice Liaison Service 

Each NHS Trust has a Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) that offers confidential advice, support and information to help resolve any matters relating to your care or treatment at that NHS Trust. It provides a point of contact for patients, families and carers.

PALS is usually a good first point of contact before making a complaint as they may help resolve the issue more quickly.

In Tower Hamlets we have two major NHS Trusts providing care for residents. One is Barts Health NHS Trust (Royal London, Whipps Cross, Newham and St Bartholomew's Hospitals)

Contact Barts PALS Service

The other is the East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) providing many mental health, community health and other health services across the borough.

Contact ELFT PALS Service

Making a complaint about social care

Healthwatch gives people a powerful voice locally and nationally. Healthwatch works with people to get the best out of their local health and social care services. Users of social care services may have an ongoing experience which is causing concern and they wish to put right.

You can raise your complaint about Adult Social Care by contacting Tower Hamlets social care complaints.

Click here for more information 

Alternatively you can contact Tower Hamlets Council:

Call: 0800 374 176

Email: complaints@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Making a complaint about your GP

The NHS primary care services are there to help provide care to everyone. If you have concerns about any aspects of your care or the actions, decisions of an NHS primary care body (GP practice), you have the right to complain.

If you decide to make a complaint, you have several options. In the first instance we recommend you speak directly to the service itself and see if you can resolve the issues between you.

If you cannot resolve the issue with the service verbally, you can contact them directly via email and make a written complaint. Please click the link below for further information on how to make a complaint about a GP service.

 Click here for more information