Making a complaint about medical treatment

If you are dissatisfied with the medical treatment that you or a family member have received then you are entitled to make a complaint.

This guide will help you to prepare a complaint letter and provide information regarding where you should send your complaint to. There are different procedures to follow to make a complaint depending upon whether your treatment was provided through the NHS or privately.

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint and wish to seek legal advice, call our specialist clinical negligence solicitors on 0203 817 9430 or complete our online enquiry form and someone will call you back. You may be entitled to compensation if the medical treatment you received was negligent.

Medical treatment complaint time limits

A medical treatment complaint should be made at the earliest opportunity and, at the most, within 12 months of the relevant treatment. This guideline is in place to ensure that the doctors, nurses etc recollection of events is clear and to ensure that your medical records are readily available for review.

The NHS has discretion to consider complaints outside of 12 months and will consider issues such as the duration of your illness and the date that you were first aware of concerns regarding your medical treatment.

It is always worthwhile submitting a letter of complaint, even if you are outside the time limits as they may respond.

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Useful contacts for medical complaints

When submitting a medical treatment complaint the following contact details could be useful.

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service - exist within most NHS Hospitals 
Website - Find Patient Advice and Liaison Services

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman 
Millbank Tower 
Website - 
Complaints Helpline - 0345 015 4033

Independent Healthcare Advisory Service 
Centre Point 
103 New Oxford Street 
Website - 
Telephone - 020 7379 8598

Independent External Adjudication Secretariat 
C/o Independent Healthcare Advisory Services 
Centre Point 
103 New Oxford Street 

Care Quality Commission 
CQC National Customer Service Centre 
Newcastle upon Tyne 
NE1 4PA 
Website - 
Telephone - 03000 616161

General Medical Council 
Fitness to Practice Department 
General Medical Council 
178 Great Portland Street 
W1N 6JE 
Website - 
Telephone - 0207 580 7642

Nursing and Midwifery Council 
23 Portland Place 
W1B 1JA 
Website - 
Telephone - Fitness to practise 020 7462 5800 / 5801

General Dental Council 
37 Wimpole Street 
W1M 8DQ 
Website - 
Telephone - 0207 887 3800

General Chiropractor Council 
44 Wicklow Street 
Website - 
Telephone - 020 7713 5155

Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA) 
AvMA is a charity to assist victims of medical accidents. 
Action against Medical Accidents 
44 High Street 
CR0 1YB 
Website - 
Helpline - 0845 123 23 52

If you would like help with making a complaint:

You can ask your local Healthwatch to put you in touch with the NHS complaints advocacy provider for your area.

Website - or call Healthwatch England on 03000 683 000.

You could go to your local Citizens Advice Bureau -

You could contact Action Against Medical Accidents (AvMA)

Website - or call the Medical Accident Helpline - 0845 123 2352.

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