Complaints about the National Health Service (NHS) including complaints of medical negligence are common due to various issues such as insufficient funding, hospital closures, not enough staff and long waiting lists. If you believe that you are a victim of medical negligence, in the first instance, we advise you to make a formal complaint against the NHS. This is because any response from the NHS may contain important evidence that can be used in subsequent legal proceedings for a medical negligence compensation claim. There is a standard procedure in place for patients to make a complaint to the NHS. Prior to doing this, we recommend, that you write out all the facts about what transpired, and make copies of any supporting information, such as letters from your GP or specialist, etc.
Complaints to the National Health Service should be made within six months from the date of the incident (or from when you first realised that there was a problem). There are discretionary exceptions to this time limit if it is deemed unreasonable to expect a complaint to be made within the time limit.
Complaints to a surgery, hospital or clinic can be made either personally or in writing. You will subsequently receive a written acknowledgment after a complaint has been received by the NHS. An investigation will be launched, and you may be requested to talk about the issue in person.
The next stage involves what is known as ‘local resolution’ which is a formal written response. In many cases, patients are not satisfied with this initial outcome, which leaves them free to take further action by applying to the Healthcare Commission's independent review panel and thereafter to the Health Service Ombudsman who is completely independent of the NHS and Government.
Our medical negligence solicitors deal with NHS complaints as a precursor to taking legal action for personal injury compensation. The information revealed in the response to the NHS complaint is often useful as evidence in a substantive medical negligence compensation claim. We offer initial advice at no cost and without any further obligation. We operate using both the no win no fee scheme and legal aid where appropriate especially in claims by those under the age of 18 years. Do yourself justice and give us a call.SOLICITORS HELPLINE: ☎ 0330 660 7004