Making a complaint about services provided by MSE hospitals

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust is committed to putting patient care at the centre of all we do, and we actively encourage feedback from all service users and members of the public We’re sorry that you’ve experienced an issue that is cause for complaint.

Before raising a formal complaint, we encourage you to speak directly with the staff involved in your treatment and care, as often problems and concerns can be addressed and resolved quickly.

Alternatively, you can contact the Trust’s PALS Service to discuss your concerns with the PALS staff who can help to address your concerns promptly.  Addressing your concerns and complaints throughthe PALS service doesn’t stop you from making a formal complaint at a later stage, but might help us respond to your complaint and resolve it more quickly.

For further information on the PALS Service please visit our PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) page.

How to make a complaint

You can make your complaint in writing by letter or email, or by phone. If you make a verbal complaint, we will need to make a written statement of the conversation and ask you to confirm that this accurate. We can’t start to investigate your concerns until you confirm that the written statement accurately reflects the details of the complaint you’ve raised.

When we receive your complaint, we will contact you within three working days to confirm that we have received your complaint and explain how our formal complaints process works.

A formal complaint requires a full investigation and a written response from the Trust.  It takes time to undertake a full investigation so that we can

  • enable staff to identify what happened
  • talk to the staff involved and review medical records
  • establish if there were any failings
  • learn from situations where something has gone wrong and change the way we work to prevent it happening again’
  • provide a full written response. 

We aim to give you explanations and answers in relation to the issues you have raised. We are never afraid to say sorry and, importantly, we will tell you what we are doing to improve services as a result of the complaint you have made.

We assure you that if you make a complaint it will not negatively affect the care or treatment you receive, and details of any complaints made are kept separate from your medical records.

Please note:

  • You can raise a complaints on behalf of a patient, but we must have the permission of the patient before we can discuss any personal circumstances with anyone else. 
  • You can raise a formal complaint within 12 months of becoming aware of the problem. Sometimes, depending on the circumstances, we can decide to still investigate a complaint outside of that timeframe if we have good reasons to do so. Please contact us using the details below if you have any questions.

When making a complaint, it helps us if you can ensure you provide:

  • Your name, address and phone number.
  • When and where the problem happened.
  • The patient’s name, address and date of birth if you are writing on behalf of a relative or friend. We will need appropriate consent from the patient to discuss their personal circumstances.
  • Relevant details about what happened.
  • A clear set of questions explaining what you would like us to investigate and provide answers to.
  • An indication of what outcome you would like to see from your complaint.

If you're unhappy with our response to your complaint, please let us know as soon as possible

  • if you feel there are any questions we haven't answered
  • if there are issues you feel we could take further action on
  • if you have any new cause for concern which was not raised earlier.

The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can discuss how to resolve your concerns. We will be happy to carry out further investigations, where appropriate, and we might suggest a meeting at this stage, if you have not had a meeting before.

We always try and resolve your complaint to your satisfaction. However, if you're still unhappy, The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman investigates complaints about NHS services, including how complaints have been handled locally. The Ombudsman will not usually investigate unless you have complained to the Trust and had a final response.

We can provide you with more information about the Ombudsman’s role on request, or you can visit their website to get information on their role and process.  Their website is and their contact details are:

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower

Call 0345 015 4033 or email

Last published:

Complaints department contact details


Call 01268 394440 or email


Call 01245 514130 or email


Call 01702 385333 or email

You can also address a complaint letter to the PALS & Complaints Team at the relevant hospital address, which you can find on Our hospitals page.

Ask, Listen, Do – support for people with learning disabilities and autism

We want to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to provide feedback, raise concerns or make a complaint if they are not happy with the care or treatment they or their relative or friend has received at the hospital.

If you have a learning disability or autism and need support to raise concerns about hospital services, we want to reassure you that our PALS and complaints team will be happy to offer support to you.

You may also find the Speakup Self Advocacy Ask Listen Do support resources helpful in providing advice about how to raise concerns or make a complaint.

Please visit, which takes you to easy read leaflets and forms to help people with learning disabilities and autism to raise concerns.

Last published: