If you are unhappy with medical treatment you have received from your GP or hospital, you have the right to make a complaint, but the NHS has a two-step complaints procedure which must be followed. The procedure can be lengthy and complicated, although you can seek support or advice from The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).
The two stages of the NHS complaints process are local resolution and The Health Service Ombudsman. With local resolution, you make your complaint directly to the service in question and you usually have 12 months after the incident to make your complaint, although this can be extended in some cases. If you’re unhappy with the treatment received from a GP, optician, dentist or health centre, you can complain directly to the practice manager. If it’s a hospital or ambulance service you wish to complain about, you should contact the Complaints Manager or the CEO of the Trust. You can complain in person or in writing, and your complaint will be thoroughly investigated, following that you will receive a letter outlining the summary of your complaint, details of the investigation and the outcome.
What happens next?
If you’re still unhappy, you can contact The Health Service Ombudsman – they are independent of the government or NHS. It’s worth noting the ombudsman won’t investigate your complaint if they feel the provider has taken the necessary steps to resolve it. You should submit your complaint no later than 12 months after the date of the incident. Complaints are then assessed and investigated before a conclusion is drawn. If you feel unhappy with the outcome of the complaints process, you may be considering claiming for compensation for medical negligence. In this case, you’ll need the services of a professional personal injury lawyer.
Claiming for clinical negligence compensation
Accident Advice Helpline deals with hundreds of clinical negligence claims every year, and we’ve been in business for over 13 years, so we know what we’re talking about. You can trust us to provide a professional, reliable service. We know that you might be feeling stressed or concerned about claiming, but our friendly team will put your mind at ease – it’s unlikely you’ll need to attend court, as most claims can be processed over the phone (although it depends on the complexity of your claim). Our lawyers work on a 100% ‘no win, no fee*’ basis, so you don’t even need to worry about finding the money for expensive legal fees upfront. Call us today on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone and see what we can do for you.