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When to use the NHS Complaints process

NHS Complaints Advocacy can only support you if your complaint is about NHS funded healthcare.

We are unable to support you to make a complaint if this does not involve an NHS service. If you require further information about making an alternative complaint your NHS Complaints Advocate can explain this to you and give you information about who is best to contact.

If your complaint involves more than one NHS Service:

Some complaints involve multiple services. Your NHS Complaints Advocate will work with you to help your co-ordinate your complaint.

Private healthcare complaints

  • If you have paid for private treatment or used medical insurance you cannot use the NHS Complaints Procedure to make a complaint. The private healthcare service will have its own complaints procedure that you can follow.
  • If, however, your treatment was funded by the NHS you can still use the NHS complaints procedure.

Care home and nursing home complaints

  • If the care home or nursing home is paid for by the NHS you can make a complaint using the NHS Complaints Procedure.
  • If the care home or nursing home is paid for privately you cannot make a complaint using the NHS Complaints Procedure. Most care homes and nursing homes will, however, have their own complaints procedure so you can make a complaint using this.

Financial compensation for clinical negligence

  • Financial compensation is NOT available through the NHS Complaints Procedure. This is usually possible only through legal action.
  • You need to speak to a solicitor who specialises in medical or clinical negligence.
  • There are time limits for making a legal claim and it is best to contact a solicitor within three years of the incident.
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