Making a complaint about the NHS
If you are not happy with any NHS services, or feel you are not getting the treatments you need, first try to resolve the problem using these organisations:
- in England, contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service, known as PALS
- in Scotland, contact the Patient Advice and Support Service, known as PASS
- in Wales, contact the Community Health Council
- in Northern Ireland, contact the Patient Client Council
If you are unhappy with how a complaint has been handled, the Independent Complaints Advocacy Services (ICAS) in England or the Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS) in Scotland can provide advice and represent you during the complaints process.
If a complaint cannot be resolved locally, even with the help of ICAS or PASS, you may wish to contact the Healthcare Commission who can investigate the situation, and if necessary take it on to the NHS Ombudsman who will investigate further:
- the Ombudsman for England
- the Ombudsman for Wales
- the Ombudsman for Scotland
- the Ombudsman for Northern Ireland
This video from the Financial Ombudsman Service explains what an ombudsman does.
Complaints about GPs
If you are having problems with your GP and feel comfortable talking directly to them about it, this can often solve the problem.
The GP practice should have someone who handles complaints if you don't get anywhere or you don't want to speak to your GP directly.
If you do not feel comfortable talking to someone within your GP practice, you can make a complaint in writing or by phone to the NHS in your part of the UK:
There are patient organisations that can offer advice and advocacy services if you feel you are being denied treatments or have been treated badly.