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If you are dissatisfied with any aspect of the care that you or a family member have received from an NHS health care provider, you have a right to complain through the NHS Complaints Procedure.
Each NHS organisation has a complaints procedure in place. Information about the procedure can be provided by clinical staff, the hospital’s complaints department or the controlling trust’s website.
Complaints should normally be made as soon as possible and certainly within 12 months of the date of the incident(s) in question. The trust has the discretion to extend the time limit depending on the circumstances of an individual case.
Having established the trust’s complaints procedure, the first step is to bring the nature of the complaint to the attention of the Health Care Provider involved or, alternatively, the trust’s complaint manager.
Contact our expert team today to arrange a free initial consultation at any of our offices, in Newcastle, Cramlington, Ashington and Sunderland, or alternatively, request a callback to discuss your particular requirements.
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The complaint can be made verbally or in writing. A letter of complaint is preferable as it provides a record of the complaint. It is a good idea to keep a copy of the letter of complaint and all correspondence received in response. The letter should include details of:
The complaints process, as it currently exists, is not a mechanism for obtaining compensation but it might result in:
If help is required making a complaint then the following organisations can assist:
Using the NHS complaints procedure does not involve complex legal documentation, does not need lawyers to be involved, and does not cost anything in terms of legal fees or expenses.
If the patient or family are not satisfied with the outcome of the local resolution process, the matter can be referred to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (contact: 0345 0154 033).
The Ombudsman is independent of the NHS and the Government.
As with all claims for medical negligence compensation, there are time limits within which a claim must be lodged with the court. For clinical/medical negligence claims, court proceedings must be started within three years from the date of or the date you became aware of any error. It is essential that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.
In the event that court proceedings are not started within three years from the relevant date, the negligent party may be able to escape paying compensation on the basis that your claim is out of time.
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