The information on our website about NHS complaints is available to everyone. We have a self-help information pack you can download or print out which tells you how to make a complaint about an NHS service.
One-to-one advocacy service
If you live in the London boroughs of Hackney (from 1 April 2021) or Hammersmith and Fulham (including in a hospital or prison), you can get personal support from one of our advocates. If you don’t live in these areas, contact your local council who will tell you who provides your local NHS complaints advocacy service.
Our one-to-one advocacy service is for people who feel they need personal support to make a complaint. There are lots of reasons why personal support might be helpful:
- you may feel daunted by the complaints system
- you may find it hard to understand the process or remember information
- you may be recently bereaved so are not able to think in your usual way
- you may not speak English as your first language
- you may have communication issues caused by physical disability, sensory impairment, mental illness, or learning disability
What sort of complaints do people make?
Here are some types of complaints we offer support with:
- poor information and communication
- medical treatment that didn’t result in the expected outcome such as an operation
- behaviour of NHS employees
- poor follow-up treatment
- slow response when urgency was needed
- unnecessary pain
- GP not taking a problem seriously
- incorrect diagnosis
- social care accommodation and treatment
- length of time waiting for treatment or appointments
- bad experience of being discharged from hospital
What can you expect as an outcome to your complaint?
Here are some typical outcomes from NHS complaints processes:
- actions to put things right
- answers to your questions
- service improvement
- an explanation, an apology
What we can’t help with
If the complaint incident happened over 12 months ago, it may not be investigated.
We don’t provide legal advice.
Your advocate will not try to persuade you to take a particular course of action and will always respect your decisions and act upon your instructions.
We cannot offer any advice regarding services not funded by the NHS. If you have a complaint regarding a service from a private operator you must contact them in the first instance.