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Our values: Care with compassion, Respect and dignity, Striving to excel, Professional standards, Working together
Compliments or Complaints

Compliment or complaint

Whether you are happy or unhappy with the care and treatment that you have received, please get in touch and let us know your views. Receiving compliments and complaints is important to ensuring good quality healthcare - helping us to find out more about what we’re getting right and what we can improve.


We are very pleased to receive your compliments as they highlight areas of good practice and acknowledges our hard work of our staff. To send us feedback please complete our online feedback form


We try our best to get things right, but sometimes things happen. When they do, it is vitally important to put things right as soon as possible, and to ensure that the same mistakes do not happen again.

Raising concerns

If you have a concern about your care or treatment, or about any of our services, please:


  • Talk to the member of staff who is with you at the time; they will be as helpful as possible and may be able to resolve your concerns straight away
  • Contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) for immediate help, advice and support.

Patient Advice and Liaison officer (PALS)

You may prefer to speak to our PALS officer who is here to offer advice and support to patients and their relatives. She can sort out any day to day problems, address any concerns you have about your visit to the hospital or advise you on who to contact for help on a variety of issues. 


If you do not want to talk to the staff directly caring for you or your relative, or wish to make a formal complaint, then please talk or write to Complaints Manager:

How to make a formal complaint

No one enjoys being ill or in hospital and we aim to provide a local acute health service second to none, but we really do need you to tell us when you feel we do not get it right, and when we can do better. If you have a complaint about the care or services you received, we will investigate your complaint thoroughly and if the complainant is a patient, ensure that your right to care, treatment or services is not compromised by your complaint. Where mistakes have occurred we will give you an explanation, an apology and say what action we have taken to prevent others experiencing the same problems.


Please write to:  

Complaints Department, Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, Darent Valley Hospital, Darenth Wood Road, Dartford, Kent, DA2 8DA.

Telephone: 01322 428436

Leaflet: How to make a complaint

Local Resolution - an informal meeting

We always do our best, sometimes under very difficult circumstances, but if you are unhappy with your visit to the hospital or the service you have received please let us know straight away. We may be able to set your mind at rest and change things to improve them for you and other patients.


The first port of call is to tell the person in charge of the ward or department of your worry or problem. If they can help they will be happy to do so and meet with you to discuss your concerns. You may also raise a concern or complaint informally by speaking to our PALS officer.         

Complaints Manager     

Your complaint will be processed in line with The Local Authority, Social Services and National Health Service (Complaints) Regulations 2009. We aim to acknowledge receipt of your complaint in writing within 3 working days. 


When making your complaint it would help us if you could include the following details:

  • the patient’s name and address

  • the patient’s date of birth

  • what happened

  • when it happened

  • where it happened.

If you are making a complaint on behalf of someone other than yourself, the patient will have to give their written permission for you to raise the complaint.  In this event, when we acknowledge your complaint, we will provide you with a Notice of Authority form for the patient to sign, together with a freepost envelope. Complaints in relation to deceased patients are covered by a different set of regulations and we are required to obtain evidence of the complainant's relationship to the deceased and in this case, we will provide further information in our letter of acknowledgement.


We will investigate your complaint thoroughly and we will send the Chief Executive's formal written response as soon as possible. If for any reason the investigation is unduly delayed, we will write to you explaining the reason for the delay.



If the Chief Executive's formal response does not resolve your complaint you can request a Local Resolution Meeting (LRM) at the Trust.  This is the final stage of the local resolution process. 

Getting help with your complaint

If you would like independent help in making your complaint you can contact SEAP.  SEAP are an independent organisation established to support, empower and advocate for patients making complaints about their care and treatment and they provide assistance free of charge. They can be contacted at the following address:

SEAP Advocacy

  • Address:  SEAP Hastings, PO Box 375, Hastings, East Sussex  TN34 9HU
  • Telephone:  0330 440 9000 
  • Website:  https://www.seap.org.uk/services/nhs-complaints-advocacy/
  • Email: info@seap.org.uk

SEAP provide complainants with information, advice and support needed to help them through the NHS Complaints Procedure. SEAP can explain the NHS Complaints Procedure and what to expect from it and they can advise on further options once a response has been received.


The level of support will depend on the needs of the client and can include assistance with writing a letter of complaint and attendance at any meetings arranged as part of the complaints procedure.

Independent review of complaints 

If you are not satisfied with the results of the local resolution process you can ask for an independent review of your complaint.  Any request should be made within six months of receiving the Chief Executives letter of response or following receipt of the notes from the local resolution meeting. You should state clearly which parts of your complaint you are dissatisfied with and the reasons why you require an independent review of your complaint.


Please note that the Trust will consider all applications for an independent review on a case by case basis. Therefore, it is possible that there may be occasions when the Trust will decline a request.   

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman 


If you were to be dissatisfied with your response and the Trust has exhausted local resolution, you have the right to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).  However, before considering taking this step, we hope you would let us know what aspect of your complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily and provide us with an opportunity to consider whether there is anything further that could be done locally to resolve matters.

Contact details for the PHSO are set out below:


Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman he Health Service Ombudsman