Had to wait too long? Member of staff rude? Not offered communication support? If you are not happy with your care, or the way you have been treated, then you can complain.
Complaining about a health worker
If you can, you should complain to the person concerned. So, if a doctor has done something you want to complain about then try to complain directly to them. That can sometimes be difficult, and if that is the case you need to complain to the organisation they work for.
Complaining about an organisation
Complaining to an organisation might mean talking to the nurse in charge of the ward in a hospital, or to the hospital trust. At your doctor’s surgery you could talk to the practice manager. They will explain how you can complain.
You can also complain to the organisation that commissions the service you want to complain about.
For a hospital, this will probably be the local Clinical Commissioning Group. For a doctor’s surgery it will probably be NHS England.
Getting help with your complaint
Most hospitals and mental health trusts will have a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). It is their job to help you to make a complaint. They will tell you what to expect, where to make contact, and when you can expect a reply.
Your local council will also employ an advocacy organisation to help people make complaints about the health service. Ask your council for details.
The Citizens Advice Bureau are also be able to give you advice and information. And SignHealth are experienced in dealing with complaints about communication and access.
If you’ve tried complaining and you’re still not happy you can take your complaint to the Ombudsman.
The website for the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Download the Ombudsman’s leaflet on how to complain.