Why we collect and process information for complaints

We will collect and process your information if it relates to a complaint where you or your representative has asked for our help or involvement.

Complaint processing activities

Upon receipt of a complaint, the Trust opens a file on the hospital’s complaints database. The team also keeps a minimal paper file containing the original letter of complaint or a management plan in relation to the complaint. This will normally contain the identity of the patient and the complainant and any other individuals involved in the complaint.The identity could include name, address, date of birth and NHS number. These will only be used if necessary for the handling of the complaint in line with the Trust’s process.

  • We will only use personal information we collect to process the complaint. And to ensure an appropriate investigation is undertaken in line with the severity of the complaint.
  • We usually have to disclose the patient’s identity to whomever the complaint is about. This is to ensure a full investigation can be undertaken. Especially if reference is made to the patient’s medical records.

If a patient/complainant does not want information indetifying them to be disclosed, we will try to respect that. However, it may not be possible to handle a complaint in line with Trust process on an anoymous basis.

We will keep personal information contained in complaint files in line with the NHS retention guidance. It will be kept in a secure environment and accessed by those only on a ‘need to know’ basis.