How to make a complaint and how we handle it.

If we have not met your expectations, there are a number of ways in which you can tell us.

Raising a complaint in person at the time of incident / event.

We aspire to resolve complaints, where possible, at the first point of contact.

If you wish to raise a complaint at the donation session you have attended a senior nurse will record the complaint on a NIBTS Contact Record Form.  The nature of the complaint will be documented, and read back to you, to ensure the complaint captures the full nature of the grievance.  The nurse will ask you for contact details so when the complaint is passed to the appropriate manager, they will be able to respond to you. Your complaint will be returned to NIBTS Head Quarters at the end of the Donation Session, where it will be passed to the appropriate Manager the next day.  If you raise your complaint at NIBTS Head Quarters, your complaint will be passed to the appropriate manager the same day.

Details of complaints and other contacts, received by telephone (08085 534666) in the Donor Administration office will be recorded on NIBTS Contact Record Form and forwarded to appropriate manager.  The nature of the complaint will be documented, and read back to you, to ensure the complaint captures the full nature of the grievance.  The administrator will ask you for contact details so when the complaint is passed to the appropriate Manager, they will be able to respond to you.

Depending on the contact details received with the complaint, ie postal address, email address, phone number, will determine how we will respond to you.  If you provide a number of contact details, please highlight your preferred method of contact.

Additionally, the NIBTS marketing team will monitor and respond to social media comments; and when deemed appropriate will private message commenter with details (phone number, email address) and how to progress with complaint should they so wish.

You can make a complaint via the NIBTS website via the Feedback Tab. In the Feedback you can give details your complaint and leave contact details if you wish us to respond to you.

You can also choose to make a complaint anonymously.  The Feedback section on our website is also provides a route to give NIBTS feedback that is not a compliant

All complaints will be processed and resolved as soon as possible after receipt.

If your preferred method of contact is by telephone, you will receive a phone call from the appropriate investigating manager within 2 working days. We will either provide an explanation in response to the complaint received or explain what steps we intend to take to resolve your complaint within 20 days.  We will inform you of the outcome of our investigation.

If your preferred method of contact is by post or email, a written acknowledgement of the complaint will be issued within 2 working days of the complaint being received or within 5 days if the complaint can be resolved.  Where an internal investigation is required, we will inform you of the outcome within 20 working days of receipt of that complaint.  If we are unable to complete the investigation within 20 days, we will contact you to inform you of the delay.

A complaint should be made as soon as possible after the action giving rise to it, normally within six months of the event. All HSC organisations encourage those who wish to complain to do so as soon as possible after the event. Investigation is likely to be most effective when memories are fresh and the relevant evidence such as records will be easier to source.

If you were not aware that there was potential cause for complaint, the complaint should normally be made within six months of you becoming aware of the cause for complaint, or within twelve months of the date of the event, whichever is the earlier.

There is discretion for the Investigating Manager to extend this time limit where it would be unreasonable in the circumstances of a particular case for the complaint to have been made earlier and where it is still possible to investigate the facts of the case. This discretion will be used with sensitivity and impartiality. In such a case you will be advised that with the passage of time the investigation and response will be based largely on a review of records.

In any case where NIBTS has decided not to investigate a complaint on the grounds that it was not made within the time limit, you can request the Ombudsman to consider it.

The Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (the Ombudsman) can carry out independent investigations into complaints about poor treatment or services or the administrative actions of the Service. If someone has suffered because they have received poor service or treatment or were not treated properly or fairly- and believe NIBTS has not put things right where they could have- the Ombudsman may be able to help.

Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman

Freepost NIPSO

Progressive House

33 Wellington Place



Tel: 028 90 233821

Freephone: 0800 34 34 24

Text phone: 028 90 897789


Alternatively, you can contact the Patient and Client Council

The Patient and Client Council (PCC) is an independent non-departmental public body established on 1 April 2009 to replace the Health and Social Services Councils. Its functions include:

  • representing the interests of the public
  • promoting involvement of the public
  • providing assistance to individuals making or intending to make a complaint
  • promoting the provision of advice and information to the public about the design, commissioning and delivery of health and social care services
  • If a person feels unable to deal with a complaint alone, the staff of the PCC can offer a wide range of assistance and support. This assistance may take the form of:
  • information on the Complaints Procedure and advice on how to take a complaint forward
  • discussing the complaint and drafting letters
  • making telephone calls
  • helping prepare for a meeting and accompanying the complainant
  • preparing a complaint to the Ombudsman;
  • referral to other agencies, for example, specialist advocacy services;
  • help on accessing medical / social services records. or Freephone 0800 917 0222

Any person can complain about any matter connected with the provision of HSC services.

Complaints may be made by:

  • a patient or client;
  • former patients, clients or visitors using HSC services and facilities;
  • someone acting on behalf of existing or former patients or clients, providing they have obtained the patient’s or client’s consent;
  • parents (or persons with parental responsibility) on behalf of a child;
  • any appropriate person in respect of a patient or client unable by reason of physical or mental capacity to make the complaint himself or who has died e.g. the next of kin.