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NHS Complaints - Guiding you through the process

13th April 2015

Anyone can make a complaint about a treatment they have had in the NHS.  If it is someone who has died, then their next of kin can make a complaint, or if it is a child, then the parents or guardian can make the complaint.

You can make a complaint about any NHS organisation, a GP, a dentist or a hospital and each of those will have their own complaints procedure and should have their own PALS, which is their Patient Adviser Liaison Services, and they will be able to guide you on how to make a complaint.

It doesn’t cost anything to make a complaint; it’s just your time to set everything out in a letter or an email. It’s best to do it as soon as possible, but you can make a complaint within 12 months of the treatment. You should receive an acknowledgement within 21 days and then a full formal response within about 2-4 months, but there can be delays so don’t be disheartened or put off by that.

If you’re not happy with the final response, you can bring that to the Health Services Ombudsman, but you have to do this within the 12 months of the treatment, and if you’re not happy with their response you can ask them to review it under an appeal.