It is important to try to discuss your concern or complaint with those providing you with your care, eg your GP, practice manager or hospital staff, but also to put it in writing. Each general practice and hospital will have internal procedures to deal with complaints. If you are unable to complain yourself, perhaps a relative or friend could help.
If this does not resolve the problem there are organisations that can provide you with information and advice about how to complain formally – translation services and interpreters can be provided for the complaints process, if necessary. See the following for details.
Complaints procedures for where you live
Contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) staff at your NHS trust hospital or primary care trust or contact NHS direct 0845 4647; contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) at www.adviceguide.org.uk.
If your complaint is not resolved at the initial stage, you can contact the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS). If still not resolved, it can be referred to the Ombudsman, see www.adviceguide.org.uk.
Contact your local health board, or contact the NHS helpline on 0800 2244 88 for more information about NHS local boards. Contact NHS24 on 08454 24 24 24.
If your complaint is not resolved you can contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS). If your complaint is not resolved at this stage, it can be referred to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, Freephone 0800 377 7330.
Contact your Community Health Council (CHC) on 0845 644 7814; contact NHS Direct on 0845 46 47, or your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
If your complaint is not resolved at the initial stage, it can be referred for an independent review. If still not resolved it can be referred to the Welsh Public Services Ombudsman, see www.adviceguide.org.uk/Wales.
A full copy of the Standards and guidelines for complaints can be downloaded from the right hand column. If you would like support in submitting a complaint, you can contact the Patient and Client Council via email (complaints.PCC@hscni.net) or Freephone 0800 917 0222.
If you are not satisfied with the decision of the healthcare organisation you can then refer the matter to the Northern Ireland Ombudsman, or call 0800 343424.