Compliments, Concerns and Complaints

We are continually looking at ways to improve health services and make the best use of limited NHS resources for the people of St Helens.

We would like to hear from you if you think we have done something well or if you have suggestions on how we could do something differently. Equally, we want to know if you are unhappy with the service provided or have a complaint.

Please note that during the Covid-19 crisis, we are still running a normal service as below but due to working arrangements, there may be a delay in responding.

Compliments, Comments & Concerns

Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is a free and confidential service available to anyone who needs help and advice or information on NHS Services in St Helens. It is your opportunity to let us know what it is like to receive NHS services as a patient, relative, friend or carer.  It offers you the chance to provide comments, compliments or raise concerns about services you have received and helps the CCG ensure that high quality, responsive services are always available to you.

PALS can be contacted by:

Phoning: (Freephone) 0800 218 2333

Writing to:

Patient Advice and Liaison Service

Midlands and Lancashire CSU - Customer Care Team

Liverpool Innovation Park

Second Floor (Building 2)

360 Edge Lane

Liverpool, L7 9NJ

Or emailing


If we can’t answer your concerns, or if you want to make a complaint, please see below. Please be assured your query will be dealt with sensitively and in confidence.

If your compliment, complaint or concern is about a GP, dentist, pharmacy or optician, you should contact:

  • The practice manager at the surgery you received the service from; or
  • NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT, Tel No: 0300 311 22 33
  • Email:


When should I complain?

If you are unhappy about any part of your care, treatment, or the way services are provided to you let us know as soon as you can. This makes it easier to put things right.

You should make a complaint within 12 months of the event(s) concerned or within 12 months of becoming aware that you have something to complain about. However, it is much easier to deal with your complaint if it is made as soon as possible after the event.


How do I complain?

The first stage of the complaints procedure is called local resolution. Your complaint should be made in the first instance to the NHS organisation or primary care practitioner providing the service (e.g. to the doctor, nurse, GP, dentist, pharmacist using the contact details above).

It may be that your concerns can be resolved without making a formal complaint. However if you do wish to pursue a complaint you can do this in writing, verbally, face to face or by email to the primary care practitioner, NHS organisation concerned or alternatively it is your right to make your complaint directly to the service commissioner (the CCG):

We will liaise with the provider of the service and will ensure that your complaint is investigated and a response is received in a timely manner.

If you choose to make your complaint verbally, a member of the complaints team will put this in writing for you. You will be given the opportunity to discuss your concerns with a member of the complaints team and say what you would like as an outcome.

The timescale for the response will be agreed with you and you will receive a written reply to confirm the outcome of the investigation into your complaint.

Following an investigation into your complaint you will be sent a formal response from our Clinical Accountable Officer, including an explanation of our consideration of your complaint, an honest explanation, conclusions that we have reached in respect of your complaint, any remedial action that is considered to be appropriate and confirmation that the action has been taken or that it will be actioned.


Where can I go for more help?

Healthwatch St Helens can provide a free, confidential advocacy service if people feel they have not had the service they expect from the NHS and wish to complain. It is a free, confidential service. They can support people by helping to write letters, prepare people for meetings and accompany them as well, help people to know their options at every stage of a complaint.

Healthwatch: Beacon Building North Road St Helens WA10 2TJ 

Telephone: 0300 111 0007



What if I am still unhappy?

If you have outstanding concerns, please let us know; you can also ask the Ombudsman to investigate your complaint. Normally the Ombudsman expects that the NHS has been given a chance to try to resolve the complaint.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman: 

Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP

Complaints Helpline Tel: 0345 015 4033




The CCG Complaints & Concerns Policy can be found here