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Patient comments and complaints

At Papworth Hospital, we try to provide high standards of clinical care within a clean, safe and friendly environment. We would warmly welcome feedback and comments that you have about our services and our staff - including positive comments and areas where you believe we have room for improvement. Please email your thoughts to or to contact the PALS service.

From time to time, we may not achieve the high standards we aim to reach and you may wish to bring this to our attention. We understand that it can feel difficult to complain about a hospital service, particularly for patients who may be coming back for additional treatments and who may fear that their treatments might suffer if they complain. We guarantee that this will not be the case.

If you have had a poor experience at Papworth Hospital, we would urge you to let us know about it, so that we can investigate the reason for this and try to stop it from happening again. For informal complaints or concerns and comments you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS Service). PALS act independently when handling patient and family concerns, liaising with staff, managers and, where appropriate, relevant organisations, to negotiate immediate or prompt solutions.

If necessary, PALS can also refer patients and families to specific local or national-based support agencies. The PALS service also focuses on improving the service to NHS patients by listening and responding to your concerns. We can learn from you to help us improve the services we provide at Papworth Hospital .

All formal complaints will be addressed through the NHS Complaints Procedure.

You can make a complaint by writing directly to the chief executive, via email to or in person. Alternatively, the complaints department can be telephoned directly on 01480 364275 between 9.00am and 4.30pm. Outside these times please leave a message and we will return your call the next working day.

Please be assured that:

  • Your complaint will be treated seriously and investigated fully and fairly
  • Your care, or that of a relative, will not be prejudiced because you have made a complaint
  • We will acknowledge and apologise for any failure confirmed by the investigation
  • We will endeavour to rectify the problem to prevent a reoccurrence
  • The complaints procedure followed by the Trust is in line with guidance set out by the Department of Health
  • The Trust will acknowledge receipt of any complaint within three working days.


The Clinical Governance department will contact you within the next five working days to discuss how you would like us to handle your complaint, agree with you how this will be achieved and the time scale for our response to you. It is important that we fully understand your issues and establish what you would like to happen as a result of your complaint and it is important we have your contact details to do this.


On receipt of your complaint, the clinical governance department will ensure a full investigation is undertaken into the issues you have raised. If we have agreed to facilitate a meeting to feedback our findings to you, this will be arranged by the clinical governance department. Alternatively, a written response will be sent out to you from the Trust’s chief executive officer (or his nominated deputy) within the agreed time scale (usually within 25 working days). If at anytime there will be a delay in our response, we will ensure you are informed of the reason and the likely date of our response.


Feedback from patients, relatives and carers provide a vital source of insights about people’s experiences of healthcare at Papworth Hospital, and how these services can be improved. As part of our response to your complaint we will provide evidence of any lessons learnt and actions we have taken, or will take, to prevent a recurrence of your issues and improve our services for the future.

If you have any queries about the complaints procedure at Papworth Hospital or would like this information in an alternative format or language, please contact the Clinical Governance Department on- 01480 364275 and they will endeavour to help and assist you.

NHS Complaints Advocacy Service

POhWER provide a free, independent and confidential advocacy service to support people with their NHS complaint. Website: or  
Telephone: 0300 456 2370

Voice ability - the NHS complaints advocacy service

If you require help and support with pursuing a formal complaint against the Trust you may wish to contact Voice Ability, an independent advisory service who can help you (Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk areas Tel: 0300 3305454). Their address is: NHS Complaints Advocacy, Voice ability, Mount Pleasant House, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge, CB3 0RN. Email:

The Health Service Ombudsman

If you remain unhappy with the Trust’s response to your complaint, you can complain to the Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is completely independent of the NHS and the contact details are below.
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
London, SW1P 4QP
Complaints help line - Tel: 0345 015 4033 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30 pm)


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