Compliments, Complaints and Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) and Complaints

We welcome your compliments, comments and complaints.

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

We welcome compliments (positive feedback) about services but also believe that receiving comments, concerns and complaints from service users is equally as important. These can help us to solve problems, learn lessons, and lead to service improvements.

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.

Compliments, Comments & Concerns

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.


Compliments let us know where we’ve got things right, and suggestions help us develop services in the future. If you have appreciated the efforts of staff, or have ideas about how services could be improved, we’d like to know.


You might have some concerns either about your care or about other things to do with how services are provided to you. If so, we’d like to know.


If we can’t answer your concerns, or if you want to make a complaint, please see below.

Rest assured– your query will be dealt with sensitively and in confidence.


PALS can be contacted by:

Phoning: (Freephone) 0800 218 2333 Or

Writing to:

Patient Advice and Liaison Service


Midlands and Lancashire CSU

Customer Care Team

Liverpool Innovation Park

Second Floor (Building 2)

360 Edge Lane


L7 9NJ


Although NHS St Helens CCG aims to commission and provide the highest quality of services, sometimes it may be necessary for you to contact us about a service. We welcome your feedback as it helps us to improve our services.  If things go wrong, let us know and we will try to put things right and make improvements.  

We would encourage you in the first instance to raise your concerns directly with staff concerned or the manager of the service involved; as it may be possible to sort out the problem straight away. Please note making a complaint about our services or the services commissioned by us will not adversely affect your current or future treatment.

If you feel you are not able to do this, or that you would prefer not to, you do have the right to raise the concern with us, as the organisation that buys health services we can either help you to raise your concerns, or in certain circumstances investigate your complaint. If it is not something the CCG can help with, someone will help to direct you to the right place.

To make a complaint to the CCG please email


Please note 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 or the PALS); 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.

If you wish to complain directly to the Service Commissioner (the CCG) about a service we commission, 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?

St Helens Healthwatch 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 Policy can be found here