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COVID-19 - Information for Service Users - Patient Experience Team

Over the last few weeks we have been assessing the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on our ability to continue to deliver our services, while at the same time protecting our colleagues.

We have taken steps to minimise the impact and up to now have been able to operate as normal, keeping offices open, receiving post, answering telephone calls and responding to emails and online complaint submissions. We have been reviewing developments and Government announcements on a daily basis and have closely followed the advice issued by Public Health England. The daily Government briefings reflect the rapidly changing situation and advice for businesses, and we are acting on that.

As you will be aware, the NHS is facing significant challenges with regards to the COVID-19 virus and all staff are meeting this challenge in various ways to maintain a good quality of care for our patients. However, there will now be some interruptions to those making contact with Patient Experience.

This means, during this time, we are asking patients if their concern is something which can be dealt with on an informal basis. If this is not possible and you would still like to log a formal complaint, we will register it. However, we would like to make you aware that during this very difficult time, this will impact on our ability to provide a response to your complaint within our normal timescales. If you have already registered a complaint with us, we will continue to work on it and will contact complainants where a delay to their response is inevitable.

Whilst investigating complaints we rely on the clinical staff to take an overview of the care and respond to specific concerns raised. However, for the foreseeable future our clinical staff will be focused solely on their clinical responsibilities and will have very limited time for administrative duties.

We are extremely sorry this may cause a delay in you receiving a response to your concerns.

We recognise the rapidly evolving situation is causing uncertainty and we appreciate your support and understanding at this challenging time as we endeavour to maintain services while protecting our staff and customers.

We will continue to update our website as the situation develops.   If you prefer to speak to a member of the Patient Experience Team, please call us on 0800 783 5774.

If you are pleased with the care you have received, please let us know and we will pass on your compliemtns to the staff or service concerned. You can email your comments using our feedback form below.

You can send your complaint in writing to the Patient Experience Team, Appleton House, Lanchester Road, Durham, DH1 5XZ or via email

Thank you for your co-operation and understanding at this very difficult time.

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'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital