How to Raise a Complaint to Question Your Treatment
If you believe there has been injustice or hardship because a health organisation has not acted properly or fairly or you received a poor service and they've not put things right, what do you do?
If you are not happy with the medical treatment that has been provided to you or a member of family you are legally entitled to have your concerns investigated and to receive a full response from the healthcare provider - Dentist, GP, Optician, pharmacist or private health care body.
First and foremost you have to submit a formal complaint to your healthcare provider following the NHS complaints procedures. This can be done either by written format, email or verbally.
The aim of the formal complaint is to receive answers and an explanation to your questions to which you have with you have regarding the treatment you received.
Once you submit your formal complaint to the healthcare provider, they must acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days after receiving it. Here they will also confirm how the complaint will be investigated and give you an estimated time period of when you can expect a full response.
When you receive your full response and if for any reason you are not happy with it, what do you do then?
If you are not satisfied with the response for whatever reason you can seek a review by the Health Service Ombudsman. They will look at unresolved complaints for all healthcare providers and if they conclude that the healthcare provider got things wrong, the Health Service Ombudsman will look to make recommendations to put it right. This can include explanations, apologies, and recommendations for the service to improve.
What next? What if you feel this is not enough?
The decision about whether or not to sue is a very personal one. You have to consider if this route will give you what you are looking for? Closure... Would it help you to feel that your situation has been taken seriously and that lessons have been learned?!
The next stage would be for you to speak to a Solicitor that has experience of similar cases to see if this is something that they can assist and support you in. You may also find it helpful to take a look at First4SeriousInjury site.
The solicitor will then provide support directing you through process.
But, it is important to realise that you have the right to question your treatment and to raise complaints and the potential right to compensation they have too. By speaking up and shining a light on issues you may have faced, you can make sure this doesn't happen to other people. Compensation will never make up for what's happened but compensation can ease the burden and support families with their situation.