If there’s a problem with your healthcare or if something has upset you, your first step is usually to try to deal with the problem informally.
If you are not happy with the care you have received from any healthcare provider, your first step is normally to try to deal with the problem informally. You could speak directly to the member of staff concerned or you might prefer to talk to someone more senior (for example, the practice manager at a GP surgery). There’s a good chance that he or she will appreciate the problem, apologise, and try to put things right. If talking doesn’t resolve the problem, try getting things in writing. A letter may help convince the organisation that the problem is serious. Keep a copy of your letter, and any replies you receive. Every NHS organisation has a complaints procedure. Ask to see a copy if you haven’t already been told about it. This will set out how you can make a formal complaint and the timetable for a response to it. If you are not happy with the way your complaint is handled, you can complain to the ombudsman – an body that looks at complaints about public organisations. You can find out about how to complain to the ombudsman on the Citizens Advice Bureau Advice Guide.It’s also worth remembering that you don’t need to stay with the same doctor or the same clinic if you’re not happy. You can simply find another one that is accepting new patients. You don’t need to give a reason for switching, and you shouldn’t be treated any differently for doing so. There are organisations that can help you with problems and advise you on what action to take if you are unhappy. Contact your local Patient Advice and Liaison Service (or PALS) or your local Independent Complaints and Advocacy Service (ICAS) in England, Community Health Councils (Wales), the Patient Advice and Support Service (Scotland) or the Patient and Client Council (Northern Ireland), or your local citizens advice bureau.
They are there to:
If you feel that you have been discriminated against because you have HIV, you can contact either the Equality and Human Rights Commission or THT Direct. They can give you advice about challenging discrimination and taking the case further.
(1 vote cast)
Please log in
or register to vote.
to add this article to My favourites.
Adding an article to My favourites will allow you to easily come back to it later or print it.
You will need to be logged in before you can leave a comment.
Please log in using the form on the top right of the page or register.
This article was last reviewed on
Date due for the next review: 30/9/2014
Content Author: R. Pebody, NAM
Current Owner: R. Pebody, NAM
NHS Choices: Complaints
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Independent Complaints Advocacy Service
Various gay men discuss how they reacted when they found out they were HIV positive
Age UK LGBT Page
GMFA - Gay Men Fighting AIDS
Equality and Human Rights Commission
George House Trust
Copyright 2013 © Terrence Higgins Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (reg. no. 288527)
Company reg. no. 1778149 and a registered charity in Scotland (reg. no. SC039986)