Complaints should not be viewed as negative but rather an opportunity to learn, reflect and improve things from the perception of those who access services and their friends and families. A positive view of complaints enables the Trust to be an open and listening organisation.

Local resolution should always be the first and preferred option where appropriate, however it is recognised that some concerns require a formal review.

All formal complaints are processed by the central complaints management function within the Patient Safety Team. All formal complaints are recorded on the risk management system (Radar) and categorised by subject, division and team. This information is used to identify themes and trends, based on type of complaint, service or team and outcome.

Lessons learned, recommendations and actions required for improvement are considered for all complaints which then helps to develop services, teams and individuals whilst reflecting the principles of a just and learning culture.

The complaints team process, manage and facilitate patient complaints Trust wide and ensure compliance with statutory requirements (NHS Complaints regulation 2009, CQC regulation 16).

Our aim is to provide an efficient and open process that ensures that complaints are handled with a restorative just and learning approach. Undertaking a comprehensive review of the issues raised enables open and honest feedback to the complainant, the service and the individual or team affected. Team objectives include:

  • Being responsive to the requirements of the complainant.

  • Supporting services to respond, address issues and learn from a complaint in a timely manner.

  • Supporting the allocation of lead complaint reviewers within clinical services.

  • Ensuring that the process enables complaints to be handled efficiently without being burdensome on individuals and services.

  • Ensuring that reviews and responses are open and honest and address the concerns raised.

  • Supporting clear governance arrangements in place to enhance improvements identified following the outcome of a complaint, this includes recommendations to prevent future recurrence.

  • Creating a culture of learning from complaints and an opportunity to learn /change/ review and improve practice.

  • Ensuring that lessons learned, changes implemented are delivered as planned.

  • Enabling a process so that complaint actions are recorded on Radar, sent to the divisional leads to be implemented and are then monitored within the divisions.

  • Sharing of Trust wide complaint overview position every two weeks at the executive safety huddle; weekly to the divisional safety huddles; monthly to the divisional patient experience meetings.

  • Reporting on complaint data which includes the following:

- Quarterly reports to the divisions, and KO41 (mandatory complaints reporting) to NHSE.

               - Six monthly reports to the CCG as part of the quality schedule

               - Annual report to the Trust Board of Governors.

      All reports are considered, themes/trends identified and opportunities for learning/improvement shared.   

  • Supporting learning from cases including identifying and implementing recommendations and action plans. 
  • Developing and delivering complaints related training to support trust, service, team and individual learning.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service

Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service can help patients/service users/families and carers try to resolve issues or concerns they may have from their contact with Mersey Care. PALS can:

  • listen to their concerns
  • provide help, advice and support
  • provide information about independent advocacy services available
  • assist and support them through the NHS complaints process

PALS cannot investigate complaints, give legal advice or provide clinical advice. Issues raised with PALS are kept confidential; however there may be times when information may have to be shared. PALS promise that if this the case they will discuss it with those affected beforehand.

PALS can help anyone who uses any of our sevices. You can call a Patient Advice and Liaison Officer on 0151 471 2377 or Freephone 0800 328 2941.

The office is open Monday to Friday from 9.00 to 5.00pm. If you hear the answerphone please leave a message and we promise to call you back as soon as we can.

  • have their complaint acknowledged and properly looked into

  • be kept informed of progress and told the outcome

  • be treated fairly, politely and with respect

  • be sure that their care and treatment will not be affected as a result of making a complaint

  • be offered the opportunity to discuss the complaint with a complaints manager

  • expect appropriate action to be taken following their complaint

Key functions:















PALS & Complaint Lead


Steph Manning




PALS & Complaint Coordinator 


Cathy Dwyer




PALS & Complaint Coordinator


Jennifer Langley




Complaint Officer


Jade Kennedy


0151 472 4002


Complaint Officer


Maria Armstrong


0151 472 4002


Complaint Officer


Sue Laithwaite


0151 472 4002


Complaint Officer


Clare Rose

0151 472 4002


PALS Officer

Deborah McKenna 0151 471 2377


PALS Officer

Karen Leyland 0151 471 2377