Making a complaint to the NHS

In the vast majority of cases, the care provided by the NHS and its staff is excellent. But resources are stretched, mistakes happen and sometimes things go wrong.

If you’re unhappy with your treatment or a negative experience has given you cause for concern, you might be thinking about making a complaint to the NHS.

In this section, we’ve provided information and guidance on making an NHS complaint, including the NHS complaints procedure and your rights as a patient.

If you’re in two minds about making a complaint, we look at how the NHS uses negative feedback to improve patient services.

Making a complaint against the NHS FAQs

If you believe that the medical treatment you’ve received from the NHS has fallen below an acceptable standard, you have the right to complain. Read our guide to making a complaint against the NHS. This contains information about the ways in which you can complain and the assistance we can give you.

Yes, when we apply for your medical records, we’ll need to provide a brief overview of your claim to the doctor or hospital.

Absolutely not. If your GP practice refuses to treat you or asks you to leave, you should let your solicitor know. We’ll help you make a complaint to your local Clinical Commissioning Group.

Taking action

If you’re unhappy with the NHS care or treatment you’ve received, you have the right to complain. You also have the right to have your complaint investigated and be given a full and prompt reply.

To make a formal complaint – whether that’s for your treatment, or on behalf of a loved one – we’ve provided some tips for writing a complaint letter.




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  • "Adrian, thank you very much for the huge amount of work you did on the case: your diligence and client handling made all the difference to the case, most importantly in securing such a healthy award for the client, but also in making my role so much easier."
    Tom LeeperBarrister, St John's Chambers
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Downloads + Factsheets

  • Complain to a local service

    Use this letter to complain to a hospital, GP surgery or other health service in your area.

  • Complain to the NHS

    Use this letter to help write your complaint to the NHS or your local Clinical Commissioning Group.

  • Request your medical records

    Use this letter to ask your hospital, GP surgery or other health service for your medical records.

  • The NHSLA Mediation Scheme

    The NHSLA are the NHS Litigation Authority, they are the body responsible for dealing with compensation claims made against NHS Hospital Trusts.