How To Make an NHS Complaint?
On the whole the care offered by healthcare professionals in hospitals and institutions nationwide is exemplary, however, on rare occasions the level of care can be less than that expected and there could have been surgical errors made during the hospital stay, incorrect medicines prescribed, problems with individual staff, any one of a number of things that could leave a patient unhappy with their treatment.
If you believe that your treatment on the NHS has been less than satisfactory it is possible to make an official complaint. Although this will not result in any financial compensation (if you wish to claim for financial compensation see the links at the bottom of this page), it will make NHS managers/staff aware of specific shortcomings and by highlighting them it will hopefully be one step towards having them corrected for the benefit of future patients.
To begin a complaint you should first try to contact the healthcare professional that the complaint relates to or is closest to the source of the complaint. If you are unable to identify the doctor, nurse, receptionist, etc the PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) which is present in all hospitals should be able to assist. You can complain in person or in writing and you should receive an acknowledgment within 2 working days and a written response within 10 working days. Once the investigation has been completed you should receive a document detailing a summary of your complaint, what the investigation uncovered, any further details of the complaints procedure should you wish to take it further. This document should be received within 6 weeks.
If the response to your complaint has been deemed to be unsatisfactory the next stage in the complaints procedure is to request an independent review by the Healthcare Commission and finally by the Independent Health Service Ombudsman if that is to fail.
If you are considering making a claim for compensation due to an injury or illness that was caused by medical negligence (as opposed to making a complaint directly to the NHS for negligent or poor treatment) you may wish to view the following sections.