It’s a fact of life that sometimes things can go wrong and you can have a poor experience of care. When this happens, you need to know how to complain effectively.

You should always complain or raise a concern if you are unhappy with your treatment or care. Never be put off because you don’t want to make a fuss or get someone into trouble. Complaints and concerns are important to healthcare providers. They help them find out about their mistakes or when things have not gone as well as they could and improve what they do for you and everyone else.

The complaints process

The NHS Constitution guarantees your right to complain. You have the right to have your complaint investigated properly and you can take it to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman if you’re not satisfied with the way in which the NHS has dealt with it.

Step 1 – How can I make an informal complaint or raise a concern?

Phoning our helpline 020 8423 8999 could be a useful first step. Making a complaint or raising a concern can seem complicated. We can help you understand how the system works.

Step 2 – If that doesn’t work how do I make a formal complaint?

All healthcare providers have a policy and a system for dealing with complaints. It should cover your rights. Ask to see a copy of the healthcare provider’s complaints policy and details of how to complain.

Download the full version of this leaflet

Download your own GP surgery complaint letter template

Download your own hospital complaint letter template

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