​This page has been developed by the complaints, concerns and PALs service to provide information to support staff to manage complaints and to share learning from across the trust. Templates to support the process will be available on this page and pathways that support the Management of Complaints and Concerns policy and procedure.

The Complaints team currently works with a borough-based method, ensuring that a borough is assigned to a particular co-ordinator who is responsible for aiding and documenting all complaints and concerns against services within that borough. Please see below for a list of team members, and the boroughs they are assigned to:

Lorna Isted: Sefton and Mental Health Urgent Response service

Jonathan Mulvey: Knowsley, Corporate services

Clare Rose: St Helens and Warrington and Halton

A complaint is defined as: “An expression of dissatisfaction requiring a response that cannot be provided by    the end of the next working day and which the individual does not wish to be treated as a concern”. 

Therefore there is no absolute requirement for a complaint to be in writing and appropriate responses can be made to all complaints, whether written or verbal.

A concern is defined as: “Any anxiety or worry, regarding Trust services, expressed by service user/patient, their relatives and/or carers; which they do not wish to be treated as a complaint”.

A compliment is defined as: “An expression of praise admiration or congratulation”.

Following a new process agreement, complaints are now being graded from levels 0-3 when received. Please see below for explanations on the distinctions between the levels, and the timescales involved.

Level Timeframe for Completion Description
Level 0 - Concern 48 hours (2 working days) A problem raised that can be resolved/responded to straight away by the service (by the end of the next working day if possible, but no later than 48 hours of receipt). These concerns must be fully recorded on Datix and closed within the 48 hour timeframe. Any that cannot be resolved in this timeframe will need to be updated and recorded as a Level 1 complaint.
Level 1 - Low 20 working days

Unsatisfactory service or experience not directly related to care. No impact or risk to provision of care.


Unsatisfactory service or experience related to care, usually a single resolvable issue. Minimal impact and minimal risk to the provision of care or service. No real risk of litigation. 

Level 2 - Medium 60 working days Service or experience below reasonable expectations in several ways, but not causing lasting problems. Requires fact finding to determine cause. Has some potential for litigation. Link with SI process to determine if SI can address TOR
Level 3 - High 60 working days Significant issues regarding standards, quality of care and safeguarding or denial of rights. Complaints with clear quality assurance or risk management issues. Issues that are deemed serious in relation to substandard care or any form of professional misconduct. This substandard care may have caused death or significant detrimental effect to a service user's physical or mental health. Will require full investigation. Possibility of litigation and adverse local publicity. Link with SI process as Level 2