NHS Complaints

If you believe you have received bad treatment in the NHS, organisations such as Citizens Advice, the NHS Patient Advice and Liaison Service and The NHS Complaints Advocacy Service can help, see below for more information.

Citizens Advice

www.citizensadvice.org.uk give clear advice under their ‘healthcare’ heading – this advice can differ depending on where you are in the UK. There is a section to explain the details that you need to include in your complaint.


Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) – The NHS has many PALS offices across the country, all of whom aim to answer questions and resolve concerns about NHS treatment.

PALS will support anybody having NHS treatment or partners, friends, family and carers.
PALS staff will listen to your questions or concerns and try to resolve them directly or will talk to NHS staff to get the answers you need.
PALS staff will also:

  • Help you to resolve concerns or problems you are having with your NHS service
  • Give you information which may help you with your questions
  • Give you information about how to complain about your NHS service
  • Give you information about other organisations that are independent of the NHS
  • Help you get more involved with your local NHS so that you can make suggestions for change

As well as supporting you to resolve your particular query or concern, PALS also has a role to play in making improvements within the NHS. They report back to NHS Trusts and monitoring bodies about problems with services that need to be addressed and with suggestions for change where improvements could be put in place.

The NHS Complaints Advocacy Service

The NHS Complaints Advocacy Service is a free and independent service that can help you make a complaint about a National Health Service (NHS).

The NHS Complaints Advocacy Service is:

  • Free
  • Independent
  • Confidential

The website can help you to understand the NHS Complaints process and make a complaint about your issues.

If you do not feel comfortable making a complaint by yourself, or you need support at any point during the complaints process, contact the service.

Telephone: 0300 330 5454
Textphone: 0786 002 21939

If you are still not happy that your complaint has been settled you can contact the parliamentary and health service ombudsman.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

The website for the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman is: www.ombudsman.org.uk.

What they say about their service:

“We make final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England, UK government departments and some other UK public organisations. We do this fairly. You can complain to us if you believe there has been injustice or hardship because an organisation has not acted properly or fairly or has given you a poor service and not put things right. Our service is free.”

Last reviewed: 31-07-2019    ||    Next review due: 31-01-2022