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NHS Complaints Advocay

How can I make a complaint about NHS care or treatment?

If you have a concern about the health care you or someone you know is receiving at the moment, you can ask to speak to a doctor, nurse or manager at the service. If your concern is about a service provided by an NHS Trust (hospitals, mental health services, community health services and ambulance services) you can contact their Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS). PALS (which may also be known as Patient Experience or Service Experience services) can help you resolve your concerns quickly and without having to make a formal complaint. If you are still unhappy after that, or if your concern is about something that has already happened you may want to make a complaint and POhWER can help!

You can use the complaints process to complain about any NHS funded treatment including care provided by NHS hospitals, GPs, pharmacies, ambulance services, dentists, district nurses, opticians and mental health services. If the NHS paid for treatment at a private hospital or pays all or part of someone’s care home fees this is also covered by the NHS complaints process.

You can complain about your own care and treatment or someone else’s but you may need to get their consent before the NHS will investigate.

If you have done everything you can to resolve your complaint with the local service and you are not happy with their final decision you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This is the final stage of the NHS Complaints Process.  

If you are not sure whether to make a complaint you can contact POhWER. They will listen and help you decide whether there are other ways of sorting out your concerns. They can also answer questions about the complaints process.