Making a complaint

Please note

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and in line with NHS England guidance, we have paused the investigation of new and existing complaints. This enables clinical staff to focus on front line patient care.

We will continue to review and acknowledge all new complaints but will not investigate the complaint or respond until further notice.

We will resume our complaints service as soon as possible. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and understanding.

Making a formal complaint

If you wish to make a formal complaint to make about your care, it should be made within six months of the incident or one year from when you realised that there was a need to complain. You can do this by writing to:

Chief Executive
Royal Brompton Hospital
Sydney Street 
London SW3 6NP

You can also email us at: complaints@rbht.nhs.uk

Your letter should include: 

  • where and when the problem happened
  • a description of what happened
  • the name of the person or service you are complaining about (where possible)
  • what you would like to happen as a result of your complaint.

What to expect after lodging a formal complaint

  • we will send a letter within three working days of our receiving your complaint, acknowledging receipt, indicating who will be investigating your complaint and how long it is anticipated it will take to complete the investigation
  • a senior member of staff will carry out a thorough investigation
  • if you are complaining on behalf of a patient, we will need the patient’s written consent before we can discuss with you their information. We will send you a form for the patient to sign indicating they agree to your receiving information about them
  • this response should answer all the points you raise in your complaint
  • where possible we will take measures to ensure we learn from the situation, improve what we do and try to avoid the same from happening again
  • if you are not satisfied with our response, please let us know why; we can suggest a meeting with the people involved or write to you with answers to your concerns.

Our approach to complaints

We base our approach to the complaints we receive on six principles. Originally set out by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), they are:

  • getting it right
  • being customer focused
  • being open and accountable
  • acting fairly and proportionately
  • putting things right
  • seeking continuous improvement

Complaints received in 2017/18

  • 26 complaints were made at Harefield Hospital
  • 52 complaints were made at Royal Brompton Hospital
  • 43 complaints questioned clinical care
  • 9 complaints revolved around poor communication
  • 87% of complaints were resolved within the agreed timescales
  • 4 complaints were resolved informally after a phone call or letter from a staff manager
  • 3 complaints went to Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO), for independent review

Independent review

If you are not satisfied with how we handled your complaint at the Trust, you have the right to an independent review.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is responsible for reviewing complaints about the NHS. However, this can only happen if the complaint has already been investigated by the Trust.

Read our most recent complaints report.


Contact PALS

Royal Brompton Hospital telephone: 020 7349 7715

Harefield Hospital telephone: 01895 826 572

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm 

Email: pals@rbht.nhs.uk