One of our main roles is to gather patient views and experiences from residents. Without knowing what you think of health and social care services we cannot speak up for you!
Our online feedback centre allows people to tell us about their experiences of care in our borough. Whilst people can visit our website and provide this feedback independently, our system is backed up by a Patient Experience Officer. Our Patient Experience Officer and team of volunteers work out in the community everyday, talking to patients and their relatives about experiences of care. This data is input into our feedback centre and reported on quarterly. Having people out in the community everyday helps us understand which services are working well and where improvements are needed. We identify services to watch and themes and trends. This then helps us to work with Hammersmith & Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Hammersmith & Fulham Council in order to share and celebrate good practice and focus on where improvements are needed.
In addition to ensuring that the voices of service users, patients and the public are heard by decision makers within health and social care, we also provide an information and signposting service to the public about accessing health and social care services. Please read below for information about how we can help you.
Need help to find services?
On our “Share your experiences” section, you will find links to health and social care service providers in your area.
What our service is…
A free, friendly and confidential service that is independent from the NHS and social care services.
We will perform a signposting role only. This means that we will give the you the contact details for a range of services that best supports your request. You will then need to contact those organisations yourself.
We can give you information about choices you have with regard to where you might get help in relation to your health, social care and wellbeing needs.
We can put you in touch with sources of information on NHS and social care services in Hammersmith & Fulham.
We can give you information about what to do when things go wrong and you don’t understand how to make a complaint.
What our service is not…
Our service is not supported by trained clinicians or health and care professionals. It means that we cannot offer advice on clinical matters. This might include advice and information about medication, queries about a diagnosis made by a doctor or recommendations about a choice over a particular treatment pathway.
We are not a part of the NHS or Hammersmith & Fulham Council. Whilst we will use your feedback to improve services, we have no powers to investigate individual complaints. For more information about making a complaint please the section below.
We cannot offer advice as to the ‘best’ place to go to receive a service or offer an opinion as which service you should choose for treatment, care or further information.
We are not able to offer financial, relationship, legal or similar specialist advice. This form of advice should always be sought from a trained specialist such as a solicitor, counsellor or financial advisor.
How to contact us
You can contact us with your information and signposting query as follows:
By telephone: 0203 8860 830
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By post: Healthwatch Hammersmith & Fulham, 141-143 King Street, London W6 9JG
If we cannot resolve your query immediately or a member of staff is unable to speak with you then we will always endeavour to return your call within one working day.
Whether your experiences are good or bad, Healthwatch Hammersmith & Fulham would like to hear from you. We welcome feedback on local health and social care services, however, unfortunately, we are not able to help you progress an individual complaint. We are able to offer you signposting support to the appropriate complaint body and have put together the below information and links to help you.
If you’re not happy with the care or treatment you’ve received or you’ve been refused treatment for a condition, you have the right to complain, have your complaint investigated, and be given a full and prompt reply. You can raise a concern or make a complaint in writing, by email, over the telephone or in person.
Most issues can be resolved without you having to make a formal complaint. Try having an informal chat with your doctor or a member of staff first. A formal complaint takes time and minor issues are resolved quicker if you just speak to a person on site. For example, if you have problems booking a GP appointment speak to the practice manager about it. If you are worried about something during your hospital outpatient appointment talk to one of the nurses or the clinic manager.
NHS England calls this informal process ‘local resolution’ and urges everyone to see if things can be solved there and then before they escalate to a real problem.
However, if despite everything this doesn’t solve your problem, or even if it does but you would still like to make a formal complaint, you should ask to see the complaints procedure and follow the instructions on how to make a complaint.
Make your complaint as soon as possible. In the NHS 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, for instance in situations where it would have been difficult for you to complain earlier, for example, when you were grieving or undergoing trauma.
Making a complaint about a health or social care service can be complicated. You can either complain to the provider directly – such as a GP, a dentist surgery, care home – or to the commissioner of the services, which is the body that pays for the services you use. You cannot apply to both. In Hammersmith & Fulham, the majority of Health Services are commissioned by Hammersmith & Fulham Clinical Commissioning Group and the majority of Social Care Services are commissioned by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
You may find the following links useful
Tips and tools to help you make a complaint about health services
Tips and tools to help you make a complaint about adult social care services
Complaints about GPs
NHS dentist complaints
Complaints about other NHS services
Adult Social Care Complaints – Hammersmith & Fulham Council
Children’s Services Complaints – Hammersmith & Fulham Council
NHS Hospital complaints
Mental Health Services complaints
Feedback and complaints about the NHS
More Tips on how to make a complaint
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – feedback, compliments and complaints
Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust – PALS, compliments and complaints
West London NHS Trust – complaints
Help to make an NHS complaint
If you need independent help or support to formally complain about an NHS service then you should contact Healthwatch Central West London who provide the NHS Complaints Advocacy service in Hammersmith & Fulham (from April 1st 2020). You can contact NHS Complaints Advocacy by:
Telephone: 020 8968 7049
or visit their website https://healthwatchcwl.co.uk/
Healthwatch Hammersmith & Fulham aims to carry out approximately 2-4 “deep dives” each year. These projects will look in greater detail at particular services, themes or topics.
Research topics will be decided based on:
- Our patient experience intelligence
- Guidance from our Committee Members
- Taking into account procurement and commissioning cycles, and timely opportunities to impact
For more information please see our reports section.
Our statutory power to Enter & View
Enter & View is a statutory power conferred upon Healthwatch by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. It allows our authorised Enter & View Representatives to enter and view any publicly funded health and social care services in the borough, to collect the views of service users at the point of delivery, and to collect the views of carers and relatives of service users. These visits can be agreed in advance with the service we are visiting, or can be unannounced spot checks.
Healthwatch Hammersmith & Fulham can legally conduct an Enter & View visit with any of the following organisations or individuals:
NHS Foundation Trusts
A person providing primary medical services (e.g. GPs)
A person providing primary dental services (i.e. dentists)
A person providing ophthalmic services (i.e. opticians)
A person providing pharmaceutical services (e.g. community pharmacists)
A person who owns or controls premises where ophthalmic and pharmaceutical services are provided
Bodies or institutions which are contracted by the Local Authority or the NHS to provide health or care services (e.g. adult social care homes and day-care centres)
It is important to remember that Enter & View is an engagement tool, not an inspection. The aim of Enter & View is to put together a picture of what people think of the care they are receiving.
Who can carry out an Enter & View visit?
Enter & View visits are carried out by trained Healthwatch volunteers. An Enter & View Authorised representative is a very specific and skilled volunteer role within Healthwatch, which requires additional training and a time commitment over the course of 12 months. Our Enter & View representatives are fully DBS checked and are required to complete the following training courses:
- Enter & View
- Equality and Diversity
- Data Protection
- Adult Safeguarding
Individuals seeking to be Enter & View representatives are required to have been involved in Healthwatch in other capacities first so they have a good understanding of Healthwatch and its core functions.
What happens during and after a visit?
After an Enter & View visit has been completed, our authorised representatives will go away and write a report based on the evidence they have collected. This report will go into detail about what they saw during the visit, what people they spoke to said, and any other information that they feel is relevant. It will finish by making a series of recommendations for improvements, if there are any, as well as offering any commendations for good performance.
We provide a draft copy of our report to the service provider within 20 working days of our visit, in case they wish to raise any concerns – or make any changes which could potentially be reflected in the report.
Once the service provider has had a chance to respond, a finalised version will be published and made available for download on our website.