Hospital Complaints Procedure
NHS Complaints Procedure
This was introduced on 1 April 1996 and is intended to provide a simple and effective means of making a complaint about NHS treatment. It is certainly the route to take if you are seeking an apology. It is also a useful preliminary step before entering into litigation (Court action).
We would advise that prior to making your complaint you seek independent legal advice about whether you have a potential clinical negligence claim. You can contact us on 023 9236 6008 or firstname.lastname@example.org - or alternatively you can complete our online enquiry form by clicking on this link.
The complaints procedure applies to all services provided under the NHS and is in 2 stages.
Normally complaints must be made to the Hospital, the Trust, or the Healthcare practitioner within 12 months of the incident or as soon as the matter comes to your attention.
The first stage is known as Local Resolution and is brought about by you, as the complainant, writing to the Chief Executive (if a Hospital or Trust) or to your Health Authority, as appropriate, outlining your complaint.
To help ensure you get an adequate response to your complaint we would recommend that you set out a clear chronology of the treatment you have had, giving details of any complaints about the treatment. Depending on the nature of your complaint, it can be useful to put some direct questions to the Chief Executive about your treatment and failures in your treatment etc.
The Hospital, Trust or Health Authority will investigate the complaint and are required to provide you with details of the investigation and outcome. This can take some time and is usually done by reviewing your medical notes and discussing your treatment with the clinicians that treated you. Sometimes a Hospital or Trust will give you an opportunity to attend a meeting to discuss the issues you have raised, which you may find helpful. However if you are not comfortable with attending such a meeting you can request a response in writing only.
If you are not satisfied with the response provided in stage one, you can refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman who is independent of the NHS and Government.
Please see below for links to further information about complaints procedures for some of the local NHS Trusts:
Portsmouth - http://www.porthosp.nhs.uk/making-a-comment.html
Bournemouth - http://www.rbch.nhs.uk/index.php?id=166
Winchester and Eastleigh –
Chichester - http://www.westernsussexhospitals.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/feedback-and-complaints/
Private Hospitals Complaints Procedure
Although private hospitals are not in any way bound by the requirements of the NHS complaints procedure, many of them have their own similar policies. You should address your letter to the Chief Executive of the Hospital.