How to Make a Complaint

Our Commitment

We want to give the best service to all our patients and clients, their relatives, carers, friends and visitors. Usually we exceed, but sometimes things can go wrong. When this happens, we want to hear about it so we can put things right.

Who can Complain?

Anyone who has used our health and social services can complain if they are:

Dissatisfied with the service provided, either to yourself, your relative or someone in your care.

Concerned that you, your relative or someone in your care has not received a service you think should be provided.

What can I Complain About?

You can complain about the services, treatment and care provided to you by the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

How to Complain

Tell the person you dealing with that you are not satisfied so that, if possible, the problem can be sorted out straight away. If you cannot agree or find it hard to approach the person, ask to speak to their Manager.

If you still cannot agree or find it hard to approach the Manager, contact the Complaints Manager. This person is appointed by the Trust and is here to help you. To contact the Complaints Manager, you can:

  • Call in person;
  • Telephone;
  • Write, fax or email.

Visit Contact Us to find out more

How Long do I have to make a Complaint?

You should complain as soon as possible, the time limits for making a complaint are:

  • Within 6 months of the event, or
  • Within 6 months of becoming aware that you have cause for complaint, provided this is not more than 12 months after the event.

The time limits can be extended, if they are good reasons, why you did not complaint sonner.

What Happens Next?

When you have contacted us your complaint will be:

  • Acknowledged within two working days;
  • Investigated thoroughly;
  • Treated in the strictest confidence; and
  • Endearvour to be answered in writing within 20 working days.

If I’m still not satisfied – What Next?

We are committed to doing our best to resolve any complaint you may have. If having received our reply you are still dissatisfied, you can ask your Health and Social Services Board for an independent review of your complaint. A specially trained person (called a ‘Convenor’) will see if there is anything else that can be done to settle your complaint. If a review will help, your complaint will be looked at again by an independent panel. You will be given a copy of the panel’s report and told about any action being taken as a result of the panel’s advice.

Our Complaint’s Manager will be able to provide further details regarding who to contact.

What if I’m still unhappy?

If you are still unhappy, you can ask the Commissioner for Complaints (the Ombudsman) to investigate a complaint about a convenor’s decision not to set up an independent panel. Although you have the right to approach the Ombudsman at any time, he will not usually take on a case which has not been through our formal complaints procedure.

Contact details for the Ombudsman are:

The Ombudsman, Progressive House,

33 Wellington Palace,

Belfast,

BT1 6HN
Tel: (028) 9023 3821

Freephone: 0800 343424

Help with making a complaint

Advice and assistance is also available at any stage in the complaints process from the Patient and Client Council who are responsible for the provision of complaints advocacy. All Service users should be aware of the independent confidential support and advice that is available should they wish to make a complaint or provide other feedback on our services via the Patient Client Council:

Patient Client Council

The Patient Client Council Headquarters,

1st Floor, Lesley House,

25-27 Wellington Place,

Belfast

BT1 6GQ

Tel: 0800 917 0222

Web: http://www.patientclientcouncil.hscni.net

Complaints Leaflets