Compliments and Complaints

The Help and Advice Service

The Help and Advice Service is situated opposite the main lifts on B Floor. We would like to hear from you if you wish to express a concern, make a complaint or to offer a compliment regarding something that we have done well. We welcome your opinions on the service we provide as every comment is seen as an opportunity to review the service, so that we can make sure we are offering you what you need.

Our contact details are as follows:


Help and Advice Service
B Floor Corridor
Sunderland Royal Hospital
Kayll Road
Sunderland SR4 7TP

Telephone: 0191 569 9855 or freephone 08005876513
Opening times: Monday – Friday 8 am  – 5pm

Further information can be found in the attached leaflet:

Help & Advice Service – leaflet

Help & Advice Service – easy read fact sheet


Getting Help

There are several options available to you but first of all, we would ask you to speak to the Ward Sister/Charge Nurse or Matron for the area concerned. Many concerns can be resolved by talking things over as misunderstandings can easily happen and sometimes just as easily be put right.

If you feel that you do not want to discuss your feelings with the staff concerned then there are still things you can do.

You can ask to speak to one of the Help and Advice Service staff members or a volunteer who will assist with your problems and liaise with staff on your behalf.


If You Decide Make a Complaint – How to Complain

The complaint must be put in writing as soon as possible after the incident. Normally there should be no more than 12 months between the incident and your complaint  being raised.

Please include your contact telephone number and highlight your main issues. If you are not the patient, then written consent will be required from the patient. If this is not possible, you may wish to discuss this with the Help and Advice Services Manager who will be happy to provide advice and guidance to support your complaint.

Please address you letter to either:

Mr K W Bremner
Chief Executive Officer
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
Sunderland Royal Hospital
Kayll Road
Sunderland SR4 7TP


Mrs Audrey Barrass
Help & Advice Service Manager
B Floor Corridor
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
Sunderland Royal Hospital
Kayll Road
Sunderland  SR4 7TP

All contacts to the Patient Services Department are recorded and held in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988. Please be reassured that you will not be discriminated against if you raise a concern, you will continue to be treated and cared for with respect, dignity and compassion.


Independent Support When Making a Complaint – ICA (Independent Complants Advocacy Service)

North East ICA is an independent complaints advocacy service which provides support to assist patients, carers and relatives who wish to make a complaint. ICA support may be for example to accompany you when attending a meeting with hospital staff to discuss your concerns.

Contact details:

North East NHS ICA
Unit 312
DBH Gateshead
Aidan House
Sunderland Road
Gateshead   NE8 3HU

Free phone: 08088023000
Telephone 0191 4788351

The NHS Complaints Process

You will receive an acknowledgement letter within 3 working days containing an information leaflet giving you details of our complaints procedure and other useful information. We will usually try to contact you to discuss your complaint so please provide us with a telephone number when submitting your complaint.

The Trust aims to provide a final response within 25 working days of your letter being received. If this is not achievable, then you will be contacted to agree an extended timescale.


What happens next?

The Trust endeavours to resolve all complaints satisfactorily. The Chief Executive Officer will write to you when the complaint investigation is complete. However, if you would prefer, a meeting can be arranged for you to discuss your complaint face to face with members of the Trust staff.


Ombudsman Review

If you feel that we have not resolved your complaint to your satisfaction, you may request an independent review by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Further information is available at

By post:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower
London    SW1P 4QP