The NHS Complaints Procedure
If you are unhappy with the care that you or someone else has received while in hospital you should lodge a formal complaint in writing to the Chief Executive at the NHS trust. Alternatively you may or you can contact Patient Advice and Liaison services(PALS) who will assist you through the NHS Complaints process.
Letter of Complaint
Your letter of complaint must contain as much information as possible including your full contact details, date of birth, the name of the consultant in charge of your care, your admission date, discharge date and details of your complaint and your injury.
You should receive a response to your letter of complaint by way of an initial acknowledgement and thereafter you should receive a full written response within 23 – 25 working days. You may have to chase the NHS Trust for this response.
Once you receive a response to your letter of complaint and you remain dissatisfied with your care and the NHS Trust’s response to your complaint you should arrange a face-to-face meeting with the NHS Trust to discuss your concerns in detail.
Meeting with the hospital
You should attend the meeting with someone, who can offer you support and listen to what is being said. The hospital will let you know who will be attending the meeting beforehand. Minutes will be taken at this meeting and you are entitled to a copy of these minutes and also copies of your medical records. The minutes may be in paper format or recorded onto a CD disk.
If you still remain dissatisfied after your meeting you may contact the NHS trust again to see if there is any other way your complaint can be addressed. However, you also have the right to contact the Parliamentary & Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).
Most of the time the PHSO will not investigate a complaint unless it has already been made to the hospital and all options of resolution have been explored. The PHSO has consultant nursing and medical staff who will provide expert clinical opinion and will assist the PHSO in making any recommendations to the hospital in the event that they decide to take up your case.
The PHSO contact details are:
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Telephone helpline: 0345 015 4033
The Ombudsman may take time to investigate your complaint and at this point you may wish to seek legal advice on the merits of pursuing a medical negligence claim.
How we can help
We can provide you advice on the NHS Complaints procedure and we offer a free consultation to evaluate the circumstances of your complaint and to help you understand whether or not you have a compensation claim once you have exhausted the NHS Complaints procedure.