All private hospitals are required to have a patient feedback and complaints procedure and the healthcare regulator, the Care Quality Commission, asks to see copies of these procedures when it carries out its regular inspections or spot checks.

Every patient should be given information about the hospital and feedback and complaints procedures when he or she is registered on arrival.

All hospitals want patients to be happy with their care and the hotel services they receive. No organisation wants to ignore complaints and the potential reputational damage that may result. If there is a problem, the hospital would always prefer to deal with it right away and make amends to the patient.

Prior to being admitted your family doctor and your specialist consultant should explain what your particular treatment will entail and what tests and procedures you will undergo as an in-patient.

If something happens, or doesn’t happen when you are in hospital and you feel you should complain, you should first raise this with your nurse, consultant or ward sister. It is normal for one of these people to call in someone from the hospital management team who will investigate your complaint. If your complaint is of a medical nature, the hospital clinical governance team or the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) will be brought in.

Whatever your complaint, if you don’t think it was dealt with satisfactorily, then you can ask to raise it again with the Chief Executive of the hospital.  If that doesn’t bring about a resolution, then many hospital groups are members of the The Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS) provides independent adjudication on complaints about ISCAS members. ISCAS is a voluntary scheme for the vast majority of independent healthcare providers and can be reached at www.iscas.org.uk. This organisation can be contacted at:  70 Fleet Street London EC4Y 1EU (correspondence only, not in person)  or by telephone on 020 7536 6091.

If your hospital or group are not covered by the IHAS thenthe Care Quality Commission (CQC) monitor and perform checks on hospitals.  Forwarding your complaint to them may contribute to any investigation underway or to the commencement of a new one.  It must be noted that the CQC will not act on behalf of any individual to further a claim.

You can find out more about the CQC at: http://www.cqc.org.uk
You can call the CQC direct on 03000 616161

Also, Action against Medical Accidents may be able to provide you medico-legal advice in furthering your complaint.
http://www.avma.org.uk/
You can contact their helpline from Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm, on 0845 123 2352.

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