How Do You Make An Effective Complaint? | ™
Or call free on:
0800 234 6438
We take your data seriously. See our privacy policy & terms.
By submitting this form you agree to be contacted by our partners.

How do you make an effective complaint?

Should you make a complaint?

One of the first things you’ll want to do if you think you’ve been the victim of clinical negligence is make a complaint.

Making a formal complaint can stop other people from receiving the same poor standard of treatment by highlighting unsafe medical practices. It can also help you get an apology for what happened to you, and an acknowledgement that you were mistreated.

However, if you’ve been left affected by medical negligence and might continue to suffer in the future, then you may choose to think about making a compensation claim.

If you’ve already made a complaint, it doesn’t stop you being able to claim. In fact, it can even be useful by helping to build up a picture of what happened to you.

Making a compensation claim for medical negligence can be a complicated process – which is why it’s important that you get access to the very best solicitors. When you speak to a trained legal adviser, they’ll be able to let you know whether you’ll be able to make a compensation claim and can pass you on to the right solicitor for your case.

You can reach an adviser for free on 0800 234 6438, or fill in the secure online form to arrange a call back.

DID YOU KNOW: Making a compensation claim won’t necessarily cause the medical practitioner to be disciplined.

The complaints procedure

If you feel like you’ve been let down by NHS treatment, you might be unsure about making a complaint or starting legal action.

This may be because it’s daunting to make a claim against such a huge organisation, and you may also get a sense that the people working in it are only trying their best.

However, you shouldn’t let this put you off making a claim for the compensation you need. The NHS itself recognises that standards can sometimes slip and has mechanisms in place for recording and dealing with these cases.

Your right to make a complaint is included in the constitution of the NHS, which includes pledges that all complaints will be fully investigated with the results of these investigations being given to you.

It also includes the right to seek a ruling by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman and your right to receive compensation if negligence has caused you harm.

Claims against the NHS will be dealt with by NHS Resolution, while private practices are regulated by the Care Quality Commission and the General Medical Council. These are independent bodies which set out a framework of good practice which any negligence can be measured against by experts.

If you chose to start a claim, your solicitor will bring together all the records and evidence of the treatment you received and compare this with your past and current state of health. If they think they can prove that you’ve been the victim of negligence, then they’ll begin putting a case together.

Common complaints

You can make a complaint for any negligent treatment. But we’ve listed some examples below of the most common causes of complaints:

  • GP misdiagnosis
  • Rude clinicians
  • Long waiting times
  • Hidden dentist charges
  • Delayed referral to a specialist
  • Hidden costs of private healthcare

Not all of the above are cases of neglect, but they do show the number of things that can go wrong when patients interact with medical professionals.

Duty of candour

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014: Regulation 20 legally recognises the importance of patient complaints, and the need for transparency within the health care system.

This regulation states that providers of health care have a duty to be open and transparent with patients and the people representing them. It also sets out steps which have to be taken when things go wrong – such as telling the patient, giving support, and giving an apology.

Other Important Information

*No Win No Fee

  • Although all our cases are handled on a no win no fee basis, other costs could be payable upon solicitors request. These will be fully explained to you before you proceed. Most customers will pay 25% (including VAT) of the compensation they are awarded to their law firm, although this may vary based on individual circumstances. Your solicitor may arrange for insurance to be in place for you to make sure your claim is risk free. Termination fees based on time spent may apply, or in situations such as: lack of cooperation or deliberately misleading our solicitors, or failing to go to any medical or expert examination, or court hearing.
  • *Criminal Injury Claims

  • If you want to make a claim for a criminal injury, you are not required to use the services of a claims management company to pursue the claim. You can submit your claim for free on your own behalf, directly to the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (England, Wales, and Scotland) or the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme (Northern Ireland).
About the Author

Nicola Laver LLB

Nicola is a dual qualified journalist and non-practising solicitor. She is a legal journalist, editor and author with more than 20 years' experience writing about the law.

When you submit your details, you'll be in safe hands. Our partners are National Accident Helpline (a brand of National Accident Law, a firm of personal injury solicitors regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority). They are the UK's leading personal injury service. Their friendly legal services advisers will call you to talk about your claim and give you free, no-obligation advice. National Accident Law may pay us a marketing fee for our services.

By submitting your personal data, you agree for your details to be sent to National Accident Law so they can contact you to discuss your claim.

If you win your case, your solicitor's success fee will be taken from the compensation you are awarded - up to a maximum of 25%. Your solicitor will discuss any fees before starting your case.