A guide to making comments and complaints

We aim to provide a caring, high quality service and are always pleased to receive feedback from you, your family or friends. If you are happy with your own experience, we would like to hear from you – this helps us to know when we get it right. But more importantly, we need to know when we have not met your expectations. When this happens we want to respond to complaints swiftly and will take every opportunity to put things right.

Making complaints

A complaint to us is communication from you that requires an investigation and a formal response. If you are dissatisfied with our facilities, service or any aspect of the care provided by Horder Healthcare, please let us know as soon as possible. Please feel free to approach the staff who have been caring for you, if you have any concerns they can often be corrected straight away.

Our staff will endeavour to resolve any minor issues and concerns immediately to your satisfaction. Otherwise, the Hospital/Operations Manager, Matron or a senior member of staff will be happy to help. If you are not completely satisfied with the attempt from staff, you can put your complaint in writing. We will always deal with complaints in complete confidence, investigate impartially and give you a clear and complete explanation.

It is recommended that you complain within 6 months of the event or the matter coming to your attention. The independent external adjudicators (at Stage 3) have the right to refuse a complaint where the likelihood of conducting an effective review is unrealistic. However, the time limit can be altered if there is a reasonable explanation and we would inform the external adjudicators of this.

There are three stages to Horder Healthcare's formal complaints process:

Stage 1

If you wish to make a formal complaint, please contact us in writing or by email providing as much information as possible. If you wish for a representative to complain on your behalf, we will seek your consent to communicate with them to ensure your confidentiality. If you need someone to assist you through this process, a senior manager or a nominated person will be pleased to help you.

The relevant Hospital/Operations Manager (depending on the site involved) will conduct a thorough investigation with the relevant heads of department by liaising with staff that are deemed to have a level of involvement and by reviewing any relevant material i.e. medical notes. Apologies will be given where necessary, the response will be honest and open and they will initiate improvement where required. Please send your letter/email to the below address and we will pass your complaint to the relevant Hospital/Operations Manager.

Letters should be addressed to:

Clinical Governance Manager
The Horder Centre
Horder Healthcare
St Johns Road
East Sussex TN6 1XP

Or emailed to:


Please note that emails are not a secure medium of communication - if you have any queries on this please let us know.

Our response

We will send a written acknowledgement within 3 working days of receiving your complaint unless a full reply can be sent to you within 5 working days. In our final response to you we will provide a detailed, written response as promptly as we can – usually within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint. If for any reason it has not been possible to complete the investigation within this time frame, we will write to you explaining the delay, along with an anticipated date for the completion of the investigation. We will provide you with contact details for the relevant Hospital/Operations Manager so you may discuss your concerns over the phone or in person according to your preferences.

Stage 2

If you are unhappy with the response from the Hospital/Operations Manager, you can take your complaint to the Operations Director of Horder Healthcare which is also explained in our Stage 1 response letter to you. The Operations Director will review your complaint and either confirm the decisions and actions taken by the Hospital/Operations Manager or reach an alternative decision to help resolve the matter.

Again you can expect

A written acknowledgement of your complaint within 3 working days of its receipt unless a full reply can be sent to you within 5 working days. A detailed written response within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint. The reply letter will include commentary stating whether or not the complaint has been upheld and will provide emphasis on changes to improve service as a result of the complaint. If for any reason it has not been possible to complete the investigation within this time frame, you will receive a letter giving you the reasons why, along with an anticipated date for the completion of the investigation.

Stage 3

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the review by the Operations Director, you have the right to request an independent external adjudication of the complaint. This can be done by contacting one of the following within 25 working days of receiving the Operations Director’s final letter.

For NHS patients:

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP

Tel: 0345 015 4033
Email: phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk

For private patients:

Independent Healthcare Sector Adjudication Service
ISCAS c/o CEDR – Centre for Effective Dispute
Resolution International Dispute Resolution Centre
70 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1EU

Tel: 020 7536 6091
Email address: info@iscas.org.uk
Website: www.iscas.org.uk

Our Locations

From The Horder Centre, our specialist hospital in Crowborough, and physiotherapy clinics in Eastbourne and Seaford, we provide orthopaedic surgery and musculoskeletal services. Our hospital in East Grinstead, The McIndoe Centre, offers patients the very best plastic, reconstructive and orthopaedic surgery and ophthalmic, maxillofacial and vein treatment.

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