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How to Complain if you are not Happy with Medical Treatment

How to Complain if you are not Happy with Medical Treatment

How to Complain if you are not Happy with Medical Treatment

If you are not happy with medical treatment, you have the right to complain

You can make a medical complaint if you believe the care that you or a loved one received was negligent. This will hopefully enable you to obtain appropriate answers and an apology as well as preventing further similar issues happening in the future.  There are numerous options in relation to how and where to send your complaint.  For example, you can complain as follows:

  1. You can make a formal complaint to the NHS hospital, GP surgery, NHS dental practice or a private hospital or dentist treating you.
  2. You can raise your concerns directly with the individual people treating you.
  3. You can complain about individual healthcare professionals by contacting their professional regulatory body.

Written complaints

If you believe that the most appropriate method is to send a written complaint, you will need to assess where the complaint should be addressed to. You will have the opportunity to raise a complaint with the healthcare provider directly or the body regulating the provider, for example NHS England or the Care Quality Commission.

When writing a complaint, you should carefully consider what answers you are looking to receive.

What can you complain about?

Generally, you can make a medical complaint if you are concerned about the standard of care you received, and this applies whether you have been injured or had an injury made worse by this care.

The Letter of Complaint

Ideally, you should ensure that the letter meets the following requirements:

  • clearly states the date the negligent incident occurred and where it took place; 
  • uses bullet points or numbers to separate your points;
  • asks all relevant questions; and
  • uses headings.

General complaints procedure

  1. You may find it useful prior to making the complaint to talk to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at your local hospital. PALS can provide details about the complaints process and what to expect.
  2. Make a verbal or written complaint to the surgery or hospital’s complaints department.
  3. The hospital should acknowledge your complaint and provide you with an opportunity to have an initial discussion.  It is always in your interest to accept the offer of this discussion.
  4. The hospital should investigate your complaint promptly and provide a detailed response in relation to the investigation.  If they find evidence of substandard care, then you should receive an apology.

You are able to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman if you are not satisfied with the way the NHS has dealt with your complaint.

All employees working in the NHS have a legal duty to be open and honest with any investigation about your care. This is known as a duty of candour. 

The difference between a complaint and a compensation claim

A complaint and a compensation claim are two different things. However, to make a medical negligence claim you need to be able to prove that you have suffered an injury because of negligence. Making a complaint will not affect your medical negligence claim.

If you are unhappy with how your complaint has been handled and want to pursue a claim for medical negligence, you should not hesitate to contact one of our medical negligence solicitors.

Why choose Edwards Duthie Shamash Medical Negligence Solicitors?

We have extensive experience in handling such cases and have recovered thousands of pounds in compensation for claimants who have suffered medical negligence. 

We handle cases on a No Win, No Fee basis.

Time limits

You have three years from the date of the negligent act in which to commence court proceedings. 

Therefore, please do not delay in contacting our medical negligence experts on 020 8514 9035 or bw@edslaw.co.uk.

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