Complaints, compliments and PALS

We want to hear from you. Whether you want confidential help and advice, have a comment, compliment, concern, or complaint.

PALS acts independently when handling your complaint or concerns. They will liaise with the people and organisations involved in your case to get prompt solutions. They can also refer you to specific local or national-based support agencies.

Five things PALS can do for you

1. Listen to your concerns, suggestions and queries

2. Help sort your problems quickly on your behalf

3. Listen to your suggestions on how we can improve services and make positive changes

4. Offer confidential support, advice and information

5. Put you in touch with other local agencies that might be able to help

When to contact PALS

Please contact HCT PALS if you have a complaint or concern about one of our services. These include:

  • Health Visitors and School Nurses
  • Community (District) Nurses
  • Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Podiatrists
  • Community Hospitals and Intermediate Care Services
  • Specialist Dentists and Specialist Children’s Services
  • Other Community Services

If your complaint is not about one of our services, please contact the relevant local PALS.

Other Local PALS & Complaints Services

We handle queries and complaints for services provided by Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust. If your concern or complaint is about a service you received from one of the NHS organisations below - please contact them directly.

  • East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust (covering Lister, New QEII and Hertford County Hospitals) can be contacted on 01438 285811 or by email

  • West Herts Hospital Trust (covering Watford General Hospital, St Albans City Hospital and Hemel Hempstead Hospital) on 01923 217198 and by email   

  • Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust (Harlow) 01279 827211 or email

GPs, dentists, pharmacists, or opticians

If you have a comment, complaint, or compliment about a doctor (GP), dentist, pharmacy, or optician, please contact the practice directly in the first instance. 

If you cannot resolve your complaint with the practice, please contact NHS England. Email:  Telephone: 0300 311 22 33 

Contact PALS

Call: Free Phone 0800 011 6113 (local call 01707 388164).


Write to: Patient Advice and Liaison Service

Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
Howard Court
14 Tewin Road
Welwyn Garden City

Opening times

We are open Monday - Friday 10am to 2pm. If you call outside of these hours please leave a message. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

English not your preferred language?

If English is not your preferred language you can use a confidential interpretation service. We can make this information in an alternative formats or braille on request. Please contact us to request a format accessible to you - 01707 388164. 


How to make a complaint

We try hard to get things right and provide a high standard of care and treatment. However, we recognise that sometimes things do not go as planned or meet your expectations. It is important you tell us if you are unhappy with your care, the care of a relative or somebody you care for, or any aspect of our services.

Please talk to a member of staff in the clinic, ward or department where the problem arose. They will do their best to deal with your complaint and where possible, put things right in an informal manner.

Alternatively, you can contact the Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 011 6113/01707 388 164 or by emailing The PALS service is not part of the informal complaints procedure, but they may be able to deal with your concerns informally and they can tell you more about the formal complaint procedure and independent complaints advocacy services.

Making a complaint will not adversely affect your current or future treatment, or that of your relative or someone you care for.

Complaint service – contact details

The Complaints service can be contacted by telephone on 01707 388 036 or via email at: You can also write to us at:

Patient Experience Team
Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
Howard Court
Tewin Road
Welwyn Garden City

Opening times:

We are open weekdays from 9.30am to 4pm. Outside of these hours please leave a message on the answer phone and the team will get back to you as soon as they can.

How will we handle your complaint?

We aim to acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days, if not sooner.

We will discuss and agree with you how your complaint will be handled and the outcome you can expect, and when you can expect to receive this. If you are making a complaint on behalf of somebody, we will require signed consent from them, to take this forward on their behalf. A consent form will be sent to the patient for their signature so that the complaint investigation can begin.

Your complaint will be investigated thoroughly and in confidence, and in the event the investigation is likely to take longer than anticipated, you will be contacted at the earliest opportunity to agree a suitable extension. 

After your complaint has been investigated, we will send you a response in the format you have requested, for example by letter or email.

Information arising from the investigation of your complaint will be used to help identify areas of improvement in Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust services.

Can I get help to make a complaint?

It can be helpful to get in touch with an independent service for guidance and support about your complaint. NHS Complaints Advocacy provides free independent advice to people about the NHS complaints procedure and they can help you make a complaint.

The advocacy service, PohWER, can be contacted on:

Telephone: 0300 456 2370
Fax: 0300 456 2364
Address: POhWER, NHS Complaints Advocacy, PO Box 14043, Birmingham, B6 9BL

What if I remain unhappy with the outcome of my complaint?

If you are not happy with the response to your complaint, in the first instance please contact the Complaints service or the named contact in your complaint response to discuss how we may be able to help.

If there is nothing further we can do to resolve your complaint, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to request an independent review of your complaint. 

The Ombudsman can be contacted on:

Telephone: 0345 015 4033
Address: Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP

Feedback on the Complaints Process

It is very important to us that members of the public not only feel able to raise their concerns but are happy with the actions that we take as a result.

If you have had cause to raise a complaint with Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust, we would value your feedback regarding the complaints handling process. In order to monitor how well we respond to complaints, we would be grateful if you would take the time to complete our short online questionnaire. We will look at your feedback and use it to review and improve our complaints procedure.

Please be assured that your response will be treated confidentially and there is no need to include your name.

You may access the survey by following this link.

For further information regarding Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust complaints service, please read our Complaints leaflet which can be downloaded below.

PALS leaflet
PALS leaflet easy read version


Who doesn't love a compliment? It's always good to hear when our staff or services exceed your expectations. It can be reassuring for new patients to hear good things about us too. Your compliments help us know if things are working well.