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Why complaints are important to the NHS

It’s tempting to put a bad experience behind you and move on with your life. But if you’re unhappy with the quality of your care, it’s important that you let the NHS know.

Why? Because as in any other large organisation, it’s imperative that voices of dissatisfaction are heard. Not only does it enable the provider to gather vital feedback, it also allows them to identify potential service failures.

In fact, by making a complaint to the NHS, you can help identify problem areas and could prevent some else suffering a similar experience to you.

NHS Trusts + providers

For NHS Trusts and providers, complaints provide valuable insight into the level of patient care and service they’ve provided.

Consider your complaint to be a form of early warning system. If it’s dealt with properly and lessons can be learnt from your experience, it might prevent similar complaints – and ultimately similar mistakes – being made in the future.


Many patients tell us that all they actually want is an apology. Having someone admit that mistakes were made and that they’re sorry is incredibly powerful. In some cases this is more than enough for them to draw a line under the whole experience and move on.

At the other end of the spectrum, the patient may have suffered life-changing injuries as result of an error and they’re considering a claim for medical negligence compensation.

Either way, making a complaint to the NHS is often the first step in resolving the matter and moving forward with your life.

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.

Find out more about how to make a complaint here.


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