From time to time, you may have cause to complain about an NHS service that you have received. Below is information on how best to go about this:
Firstly, it is always best to raise your concerns directly with the person from whom you have received the service or their manager (if this feels more appropriate). Many people do not feel able to do this therefore these other routes to complain might be more useful.
Here are some of the things that you can do on Patient Opinion:
- Patients and carers can find out what other people think of local hospitals, hospices and mental health services.
- Lots of people share the story of what happened to them or their family when they were ill.
- Most important of all, patients and carers can tell it like it is! Patients and carers know what the service was like and suggest lots of great ideas about how it could be better.
To post your opinion of your treatment on the NHS go to http://www.patientopinion.org.uk/
ICAS is the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service and was commissioned by the Department of Health to give people support if they have a complaint regarding their National Health Service treatment. ICAS’ services are provided free of charge and are confidential. If you have a complaint -
- Help you deal with the complaints process
- Refer you to other relevant agencies regarding your complaint
- Meet you in a place you feel comfortable if it is not possible for you to visit their offices or speak on the phone
- Provide interpreters if you are a new English speaker/or communicate differently
- Generally support you through the process
- Be involved in any claims for compensation, but can refer you to the relevant agency
- Get a practitioner ‘struck off’
- Investigate the complaint
- Be involved in any legal process
ICAS Advocates can:
- Give people an opportunity to speak confidentially to someone who is independent of the health service
- Help you explore your options at every stage of the complaint without taking a view on your best interest
- Provide information to enable you to make an informed decision on how to proceed
- Generally support you through the complaints process by accompanying you to meetings, writing letters, making phone calls etc.
ICAS Advocates cannot:
- Make decisions for you or on your behalf
- Proceed with a complaint unless you wish us to
- Persuade you to take a certain course of action
- Work outside of the NHS complaints procedure
- Withhold any information from you
- Offer an opinion on how you should proceed
For more information on the services provided via ICAS visit:
In addition to contacting ICAS, we strongly recommend that you make contact with your local PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) of which every NHS trust has such a service.
NHS complaints procedure – find out more here
To find your local PALS office click here
PALS services can:
- Listen to your concerns and suggestions
- Provide on-the-spot information on NHS services
- Advise and support patients, their families and carers
- Help sort out problems quickly on your behalf
- Help you contact other organisations to get the help you need
- Record any feedback and comments that you wish to make and learn from your experience
The ICAS service is totally independent of the NHS whereas the PALS services and PAL’s officers work is part of the NHS.