Most NHS treatment goes well but sometimes things can go wrong. If you are unhappy with your care or the services you have received, it is important to tell the relevant service so they can improve.
There are two ways to tell the NHS what you think:
- Give feedback
- Make a complaint
If you are unhappy with an NHS service, it is worthwhile discussing your concerns early on with the provider of the service, as they may be able to sort the issue out quickly. Most problems can be dealt with at this stage. However, in some cases you may feel more comfortable discussing your concerns with someone not directly involved in your care.
When making a complaint, you have two options. You can complain the healthcare provider, for example your GP, your dentist or the hospital where you were treated. Or, you can complain to the organisation that pays for the service – the commissioner.
Primary care, that is care provided by a GP, dentist, optician or pharmacist, is commissioned by NHS England. Secondary care includes hospital care, mental health services and community services such as district nursing. These services are commissioned by local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
Our advisors can explain the complaints process in more detail and if you want to complain to NHS England about a service that we commission, they can also register your complaint and explain what happens next. If your complaint is about secondary care only you should contact the provider or the local CCG.
If you have already made a complaint and are unhappy with the outcome, you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and ask them to review the way that your complaint was handled. The PHSO also provides a BSL service and you can find more information about this on their website.