Giving feedback or making a complaint about the NHS

The information that follows explains:

  • how to give feedback, make comments or raise concerns about the health care you receive, and
  • how to complain using the NHS complaints procedure.

Giving feedback about the NHS

Tell us about anything that is important to you

For example:

  • If you're in hospital or have been recently, you may want to tell us what you think about the care and treatment you received, or about the food or the ward.
  • You may want to tell us about something we've done well.
  • You may be concerned that you don't have enough information about the care and treatment offered or about visiting hours, car parking or opening times.

How can I give my feedback?

You can give your feedback by:

  • talking to a member of staff involved in your care
  • filling in a patient survey or questionnaire
  • phoning the NHS inform Helpline on 0800 22 44 88
  • telling the Patient Advice & Support Service (PASS)
  • putting your comments in a  suggestion box, or
  • contacting your NHS board.

What happens to my feedback?

 We will use your feedback to improve the services we provide.

Making a complaint about the NHS

What can I complain about?

Things you can complain about include:

  • care or treatment you have had or are having in the NHS
  • anything to do with the place where you are seen, for example, a doctor's surgery, a hospital, a dental practice, an optician, a pharmacy, a prison health centre or an ambulance
  • any member of NHS staff involved in your care
  • how NHS services in your local area are organised, if this has affected your care or treatment.

If your complaint involves another part of the NHS or another organisation, such as social services, the NHS will deal with the complaint or pass it on to someone in the other organisation.  You will be told who is dealing with your complaint.

What can't I complain about?

There are some things you can't complain about through the NHS complaints procedure, and these include:

  • private health care or treatment
  • services not provided or funded by the NHS, and
  • something which you are taking legal action about.

The NHS complaints procedure doesn't usually provide financial compensation. The Patient Advice & Support Service may be able to tell you where to get information about specialist solicitors who handle medical negligence claims.

Page last edited: 11 April 2013