NHS Complaints: A Guide

If you’re not happy with the care or treatment you’ve received or you’ve been refused treatment for a condition by a Hospital, GP, Dentist, or Pharmacist, you have the right to complain, have your complaint investigated, and be given a full and prompt reply.

Here at Express Solicitors we offer NHS Complaint advice to claims that we feel need further explanation by their Doctor’s as to why they received poor treatment and are suffering with their current condition.

Getting Expert Advice

To get the best out of the complaints procedure, we advise that you take specialist advice.

You can get advice from:

  1. The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS). This service took over the complaints role of the Community Health Councils in England and can provide help and advice on making a complaint.  In Wales, you can still get help with making a complaint from the Community Health Council.
  2. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). This is based in all NHS Trusts and can help you resolve everyday concerns and problems with NHS care that you do not want to make any formal complaint about.
  3. Action Against Medical Accidents (AVMA). This is a charity that can give you support and medical information to help you make an effective complaint.  It can also give you expert legal advice if you want to claim compensation.
  4. A number of other specialist health organisations. If there is a charity or support group for people with your medical condition, it may be able to offer advice about whether the treatment you received was appropriate.

Time Limits

You should make your complaint within 6 months of your injury.  However, a Healthcare provider may still look at a complaint made after this – particularly if there is a good reason why you could not proceed with a complaint before.

Often complaints take many months to resolve.  If you are making a compliant but are also considering legal action, it is very important that you do not wait too long before investigating the possibility of a legal claim.  This is because there are strict time limits.

If you are complaining because a relative has died during or after treatment, contact the Coroner.  Again, your GP practice, the clinic or hospital will be able to give you details of your local coroner.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint you can refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who is independent of the NHS and government and will investigate your complaint further to provide a satisfactory outcome for you.

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