I need to sort out a problem with health care
NHS health services are provided by a range of different organisations from large healthcare trusts to smaller organisations like GP practices, pharmacies and dentists.
The best first option is usually to speak to the organisation who provides the care so they can try and put things right for you. For more information on how to do this see the Citizens' Advice guides.
If you need more help and support to do this then an advocate could help. Find out more about advocacy support.
My problem is with hospital care, ambulance services, or community care e.g. health visitor
There is a PALS service in each NHS hospital or health care trust who are there to:
- help answer any questions about your care
- advise and support you and your family
- listen to your suggestions for improving services for patients and visitors
- reply to your concerns if you are unhappy with any aspect of your care
- pass on your compliments to staff if you are pleased with any aspect of your care
If you want to make a formal complaint about your care, PALS will give you information about who to contact to do this.
My care is provided by a GP, dentist, optician or pharmacist
You can go directly to the GP practice, dentist, pharmacy or optician and give them the opportunity to sort the issue out for you. Alternatively, you can go directly to NHS England, who will investigate your complaint.
If you have already complained directly to the GP practice, dentist, pharmacy or optician and are unhappy with their response, you can go to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. You can also approach NHS England who will try and mediate. They will check all the procedures have been followed correctly but will not re-investigate the complaint.
NHS England also commissions or buys some specialist health services across the country. Complaints about those services are dealt with by NHS England.