NHS Complaints

There may be a time when you become unhappy with the care and treatment you have received from the NHS and you may wish to complain. The complaint may be about yourself but you can also make the complaint on behalf of someone else.

Informal Complaint

You can complain informally to the service providing your care and treatment.  This may be to the GP surgery, Hospital or Dental Surgery.  You may want to speak to them to try and address the issue.

If you’re not happy with an issue at the hospital, the Patient And Liaison Service may also be able to assist you with informal complaints.

Formal Complaint

You may feel that the matter is serious enough to complain formally or that the informal complaint hasn’t been produced a satisfactory outcome. The formal complaint should be put in writing to either the practice manager of the GP or Dental Surgery or NHS England.  You can make a verbal complaint by asking to speak to the manager or whomever deals with complaints, they should then make a written copy of the complaint and send you a copy.

If your complaint is about a hospital, community health service you can address your formal complaint letter to the Chief Executive of the trust responsible for the service or the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Once you have completed and submitted your complaint in writing, you should receive an acknowledgement within 3 working days.

The service should investigate your complaint and inform you of the timescale that they expect to resolve your complaint.  If there is a delay to this time scale, the service should contact you to let you know this and how much longer it is expected to be.

Once the complaint has been investigation, the service should write to you with their findings or arrange to meet you to discuss them. Afterwards you should receive the findings in writing and any agreements that have been reached at the meeting.

The complaint looks at 3 different outcomes:

  • An apology
  • An explanation; what the service intends to do as a result of the complaint
  • A change to policies and procedures and the steps taken to ensure this doesn’t happen to others.


What the NHS Complaint Procedure doesn’t cover

There are certain things that the complaints service doesn’t help with:

  • Legal Matters and issues regarding compensation
  • Disciplining Staff
  • Complaints about Adult Social Care
  • Privately funded health care.


Useful Contacts:

NHS England Telephone: 0300 311 22 33


General Post (including complaints): NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT


Pohwer Advocacy

NHS Complaints Advocacy Service ( For people living in the Birmingham area)

Telephone: 0300 456 2370