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How do I make a complaint to the NHS?

Many people find themselves having had treatment which they are unhappy with and which clinicians either wont or don’t have the time to explain. This can leave patients and their families, quite rightly, aggrieved and perhaps avoidably anxious.

A good starting point, when you are dissatisfied about your treatment is to make a formal written complaint under the NHS Complaints procedure. This can get you answers in a written response or you may be invited (or can ask) to have a meeting with the doctor or dentist involved so that you can have your concerns answered face-to-face.

So you’re ready to complain, where do you start? Follow our easy to use steps and you’re on your way:

  1. Find the address of the hospital / GP or dentist on NHS choices at www.nhs.uk and address your letter to the chief executive (if it is a hospital), or the practice manager (if it is a GP or dentist).
  2. The beginning of the letter should say what you are writing to complain about and asking your letter to be dealt with in line with the NHS Complaints procedure.
  3. Write a brief outline of what has happened to you including dates of when and where you were seen / treated and the name of the doctor / dentist involved.
  4.  Ask specific questions in numbered bullet points.
  5. Finish the letter by asking that your questions be responded to using the numbers you have used.
  6. Telephone the hospital / Surgery or dental practice one week after you send the letter to make sure that it has been received and ask for a written acknowledgment.

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