Complaining about NHS treatment or service
If you have a complaint about NHS treatment or an NHS service, you may want to consider making a formal complaint direct to the NHS before considering any legal action – even if it involves a potential clinical negligence claim.
There is an NHS complaints procedure available for any patient who has a grievance about what they perceive to be an unprofessional service, poor treatment or maladministration with regard to NHS treatment. Examples of a poor service or treatment which may merit a complaint include:
- incorrect or delayed diagnosis
- incorrect treatment
- a medical product has failed
- lack of communication
- failure to provide appropriate pain relief, nutrition and or hydration
- inordinate delays for treatment or consultations, including cancelled operations/procedures
- poor hygiene or cleanliness at the hospital/clinic
- poor standard of behaviour of NHS staff
- wrong medication prescribed
- issues relating to consent
- issues relating to discharge from hospital
- lack of follow up information following treatment/surgery
- errors in medical records, or loss of medical records
If you believe you have ground to make a claim for clinical negligence (also known as medical negligence), read our article: Clinical Negligence in the National Health Service.
Before making a formal complaint
If you want to make a complaint, the NHS advises that you first attempt a ‘local resolution’. This means approaching the specific NHS service, whether it is your hospital, GP or dentist, and obtain a copy of their own complaints procedure. Every NHS service provider has its own complaint procedure which will explain what you need to do to raise a grievance with them.
For more information on:
- Making a complaint
- Lodging a complaint with the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
- Care Quality Commission and other regulators