Complaints About NHS Care
If you feel something went wrong with the healthcare you or your loved one received or did not receive, it is advisable to raise your concerns and discuss this with the medical staff in the first instance. If you feel uncomfortable doing so then you have the option of using the NHS complaints process.
The NHS has a formal complaints procedure which you as the patient can use. We often advise those who contact us with a potential medical negligence or clinical negligence case to try this before taking formal legal steps.
If you wish to use our free template letter which sets out how you can put your complaint in writing please contact us by email at email@example.com
It is important to note that due to the pandemic some NHS Trusts may not be able to reply to your complaint letter in a timely manner. You have 12 months of the alleged incident to make a formal complaint, ideally, we recommend a complaint is made soon after the event whilst the information is fresh in your mind.
Complaints can be sent to the Complaints team at the relevant NHS hospital Trust or to NHS England.
Once you submit your complaint you can expect an acknowledgement from the Complaints team and confirmation as to when they expect to complete their enquiry and provide you with a formal reply to your complaint. Usually, you can expect a reply to your complaint within 3 months but due to the pandemic this may take longer, if you do not receive a reply within 6 months you should contact the complaints team and ask them for an explanation as to the delay and an idea as to when you will receive a formal reply.
Once you receive the reply to your complaint if you are satisfied with the answers you get then you may find some ‘emotional’ closure. You may find your complaint is informally resolved and you are satisfied with the explanation or you may want to seek legal advice if you are not satisfied with their explanation.
To pursue a legal case for medical negligence / clinical negligence please remember you have 3 years from the date of the incident or 3 years from the date you became aware of the potential negligence. Please see our website for more information. In addition to seeking local resolution formally by using the NHS Complaints procedure, patients can also ask for an independent review by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). Further information can be found here. Usually, the PHSO will want to know the outcome of the NHS complaint before they intervene, however, any requests for a review to the PHSO must be made within 12 months of the incident. They PHSO may take into account any delay caused by the current situation but it is best to ask for a review within a year of the incident.
If you would like to have an informal chat with our Clinical Negligence experts in confidence to see if you have a viable claim then please complete the contact form on our website and we will give you a call back at a time convenient to you or please call/ contact Daxa Patel, Clinical Negligence Partner & Solicitor by contacting us on 0330 107 0107 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Once we are contacted by you, one of our helpful team members will contact you. Please note we have a team of lawyers who speak many languages including English, Polish, Romanian, Russian and Lithuanian.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.
Published by: Daxa Patel
Partner & Solicitor
IMD Solicitors LLP