When making a complaint, you can choose to complain to either of the following:
A complaint can be made by a patient or person affected or likely to be affected by the actions or decisions of a NHS organisation or primary care practitioner. A complaint can also be made by someone acting on behalf of the patient or person, with their consent.
If you are unhappy with the final response to your complaint, you can ask the Healthcare Commission for an independent review of your case. The Healthcare Commission is an independent body established to promote improvements in healthcare. You can contact the Commission at:
FREEPOST NAT 18958
Complaints Investigation Team
Manchester, M1 9XZ
Many issues can be resolved quickly by speaking directly to the staff at the place where you received care or accessed a service.
Some people find it helpful to talk to someone who understands the complaints process first and get some guidance and support.
You'll find a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) in most hospitals. You can speak with a PALS member, who'll try to help you resolve issues informally with the hospital before you need to make a complaint. PALS can be particularly helpful if your issue is urgent and you need action immediately, such as a problem with the treatment or care you receive while in hospital.
If you're making, or thinking about making, a complaint, someone from the independent NHS Complaints Advocacy Service can help you. An advocate will also be able to attend meetings with you and review any information you're given during the complaints process. You can seek advice from an NHS complaints advocate at any stage of the process. If you decide you need some support, it's never too late to ask for help. Your local council will be able to tell you who the advocacy provider is in your area.
PALS and Complaints - the Patient Advice and Complaints Team 0300 123 1672, text for a callback 07789 741099, firstname.lastname@example.org
Healthwatch England www.healthwatch.co.uk or tel: 0300 068 3000