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How To Complain To The NHS

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Funded by the British public, the National Health Service (NHS) is the healthcare resource utilised by the majority of the British population. As a result, the NHS has a responsibility to operate to a high standard in delivering its services to the paying public. However, things do sometimes go wrong and patients or loved ones may want to make a complaint. In such cases there is a framework in place for customers to complain and have their complaint addressed.
What you'll need: 
Internet access
NHS Choices web address
Complaints form
Patient Advice and Liaison Officer
Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman
In the event of treatment, service or hygiene conditions at your local NHS hospital or clinic being unsatisfactory, patients and loved ones are not without rights and recourse. According to the NHS Choices homepage, you have a right to complain, have your complaint addressed and receive a prompt, comprehensive response.
There are numerous options open to those wishing to make a complaint to the NHS. Which of these options you require will depend on your grievance and level of dissatisfaction.
As a complainant, your first course of action should be to lodge a complaint either directly with the service provider or with your local primary care trust (PCT). Contact details for the primary care trust can be accessed either through the NHS Choices website or at the clinic or hospital where you or your loved ones were treated.
In the event of a grievance in an NHS hospital, a Patient Advice and Liaison Officer will be present to address any concerns and inform you as to your rights and recommended course of action.
In the event of your complaint not being addressed satisfactorily, your next step should be to contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman which is external and independent of the NHS.
The NHS choices website states that contacting the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) is another option available to patients with any issues or complaints.
Another useful resource for those wishing to make a complaint about the NHS is the local Citizens Advice Bureau. The constitution of the NHS can also be accessed through the NHS Choices website.


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