Making a complaint
About your NHS care
Complain about your GP
To complain about your GP, you should contact the GP practice directly. The NHS website tells you how you should do this.
Complain about your treatment at a hospital, mental health or out of hours service
To complain about these services you should first contact their complaints department (the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) in most hospitals).
You can also complaint to the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) responsible for NHS services in your area. You can get advice about this on the NHS website.
Escalating your complaint
If you’re unhappy with the NHS response
If you're still unhappy with how your complaint has been handled after this, you can refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. You can call them on 0345 015 4033.
About your private care
Each private healthcare provider has its own complaints procedure and will be able to advise you on the process.
If you aren't satisfied with your provider's response you may be able to refer your complaint to the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS), if your provider is a member. You call ISCAS on 020 3713 1746 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a complaint about a doctor who works totally independently, you should raise this with us.
Getting help with your complaint
There are a number of organisations who can offer you help and advice if you’re unhappy with the care you receive.
- The Patient Advice, and Liaison Service (PALS) offers confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters. They provide a point of contact for patients, their families and their carers. Find your nearest PALS office on the NHS website or ask your GP surgery, hospital or phone NHS 111 for details.
- The Patients Association provides assistance and advice on both the NHS and private healthcare systems in the UK.
- Healthwatch England are the independent national champion for people who use health and social care services. They find out what people like about services, and what could be improved, and share these views with those with the power to make change happen. You can also speak to Healthwatch to find information about health and social care services available locally. Find your local Healthwatch.
- Action Against Medical Accident (AvMA) provides advice and support with making complaints where there are concerns about patient safety, and supports with inquests and other legal processes.
- The Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) provides advice for the public on a range of NHS healthcare issues.