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Making an NHS Complaint

Sometimes things do go wrong with the care we receive. If you wish to make a complaint about the service you have received the first step is to complain directly to the particular service you are unhappy with. All NHS organisations and departments will have a manager that you can speak to and they will assist you with your concerns and try and resolve them. If you still feel that your concerns were not dealt with properly, there is a formal complaints procedure that you can follow. There is also a process to follow if your complaint relates to social care. Please use the self help guide on this page to find the best route for you.


Can I complain on behalf of someone?

  • You may complain on behalf of a friend or family member if they give written permission.
  • You may complain on behalf of a deceased friend or family member without written permission. The NHS will make a decision whether you are a suitable representative and inform you.
  • You may complain on behalf of a friend or family member that is unable to give their consent. The NHS will investigate their capacity before dealing with the complaint.

How long do I have to make a formal complaint?

  • The NHS guidelines are that you should make a complaint within 12 months of the incident. There will be some leeway for extenuating circumstances.