Hospitals and Community Trusts have teams, usually called the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), to help patients, carers and relatives with enquiries or concerns. These teams can:
PALS teams act confidentially when handling patient and family concerns, liaising with staff, managers and, where appropriate, relevant organisations to provide solutions. They can also offer information about local and national support agencies and explain how the formal complaints system works.
The contact details for the PALS teams of Bedfordshire CCG's biggest health care providers are hyperlinked below:
Please note that the PALS teams are not clinicians and cannot give medical advice. Click here for guidance on the various ways you can obtain medical aid or advice in Bedfordshire.
For advice on Primary Care services - such as GP practices, opticians and pharmacists - please contact the service itself, or alternatively, NHS England:
If you are disatissfied with a healthcare service, you are advised to complain direct to the service provider - whether GP practice, hospital, community trust or so on - you are unhappy with.
Alternatively, if you are unhappy with a Primary Care service - such as your GP practice, optician, or pharmacist - you can complain to NHS England, the organisation which commissions these services:
Bedfordshire CCG itself does not provide health care direct to patients: it commissions (buys) hospital and community health care from other organisations, such as the local hospitals, and you are advised to complain to these direct if you are unhappy with their services.
The hyperlinks below are to the contact details of the Complaints Teams of our biggest local health care providers:
SEPT (provides community services and mental health services)
However, if your complaint is about a commissioning decision made by Bedfordshire CCG - for example, to stop or replace a service in your area - and you, or the person you are complaining on behalf of, are registered with a Bedfordshire GP practice - you should complain directly to the CCG:
or phone: 01525 864430
or write to: Complaints Department
Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group
Suite 1, Capability House
Beds MK45 4HR
The CCG ensures that it is kept informed of the complaints received by its providers, and of improvements to services resulting from complaints. Its own Complaints Policy is available here.
If you need advice or help in making a complaint, you can contact the PALS or Enquiries service of the hospital or other service you wish to complain about (see above for contact details).
Or you can contact the NHS Complaints Advocacy service, provided locally by POhWER, by phoning 0300 456 2370. This is an independent service, free of charge
Can I get help with health costs?
You might be able to get help with health costs such as prescription fees. Click here for more information.
How long should I wait for treatment?
You have the legal right to start your NHS consultant-led treatment within a maximum of 18 weeks from referral, unless you choose to wait longer or it is clinically appropriate that you wait longer. Click here for more information about the 18-week waiting time, how it is calculated, and what to do if you’ve been waiting longer than 18 weeks.
What about gluten-free foods?
Bedfordshire CCG makes certain gluten-free foods available on prescription. Click here for more information.
What if I'm a carer looking for advice?
Hospital and other provider PALS service, and other sources of advice and support, are available to carers as well as to patients and relatives. But there is also a dedicated helpline for carers with questions about their role - click here for more information. You might also be interested in the many forms of support and advice offered by Carers in Bedfordshire.
Where can I find more information on Continuing Healthcare?
You can find lots of information about Continuing Healthcare (CHC) via the CCG's CHC webpage.
This page was last revised on 02/02/2015