01904 414357 office@yorkadvocacy.org.uk

Our Services

Before you make an NHS complaint

Is an NHS Complaint the right route for you?

You have the right to make a complaint about any aspect of NHS care, treatment or service.  If you’re unhappy, it’s often worthwhile to talk about your concerns early on with the provider of the service, as they may be able to sort the issue out quickly.    Making a complaint and getting a response can take a considerable length of time so it’s important to make sure it’s the right route for you before you start.

Use our flow chart to help you decide whether a formal complaint is the right route for you.

How long do you have to make a complaint? 

Complaints should normally be made within 12 months of an incident or of the matter coming to your attention.

This time limit can be extended provided you have good reasons why you have not been able to make the complaint sooner and the NHS organisation involved decides it’s possible to still complete an investigation. Often, if a complaint happened some time ago, those involved may not recall details of what happened and/or may no longer work for the organisation .  If this is the case, the investigation and what can be achieved will be limited.

Talking to the provider of the service

Raising the problem with the staff involved or the manager of the team can sometimes help. They may be able to solve the problem informally and quickly before you need to make a complaint.  In the case of GP issues this could be talking to the GP themselves or the Practice Manager of where they work.

Contacting your local PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service)

You will find PALS in most hospitals. PALS can help you resolve issues informally with hospitals before you need to make a complaint.  They can be particularly helpful if your issue is urgent and you need action immediately, such as a problem with the treatment or care you receive while in hospital.

You can get in touch with PALS by contacting your local hospital (see ‘USEFUL CONTACTS).