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How to complain about private healthcare

Staff in a private hospital

When you pay for private healthcare, you are entitled to a satisfactory service. If you receive substandard care, you may be entitled to claim against the healthcare body responsible.

Unlike the NHS, there isn’t a government body overseeing the practices in private healthcare, so your circumstances will dictate who will take care of your complaint. However, as a basic overview, you are likely to follow these basic points:

  1. Find the official complaints procedure
  2. Escalate the complaint
  3. Contact a solicitor

Medical malpractice and poor treatment can be distressing. If you think that your case may qualify for a medical negligence claim, First4Lawyers can help. With expert medical solicitors potentially able to offer their services on a No Win No Fee basis, contact First4Lawyers for free, impartial and no obligation advice.

Find the healthcare body’s complaints procedure

Whether it’s a hospital, dental practice, or other type of healthcare service, it is likely they will have their own complaints procedure. Whatever the incident, it is recommended that you write a formal letter of complaint, keeping a copy for your records, to see if the issue can be dealt with outside of the courts.

To learn more about writing a formal letter of complaint, look at our guide to writing a letter of complaint about the NHS. The format of the letter we recommend there will work for any healthcare organisation, just be sure to refer to your private healthcare number, rather than an NHS number.

All general complaints – rather than deeper issues of medical negligence – should ideally be dealt with through the formal complaints procedure. If you feel the response you’ve been given is inadequate, or you want to go to a higher body, you should contact the relevant organisation that oversees that area of the business. A list can be found on the Citizen’s Advice website.

Escalating the complaint

If your direct communications with the body aren’t satisfactory, you may be able to escalate the issue to the services that oversee certain areas of private healthcare.

For complaints about hospital treatment, you can contact the Care Quality Commission, or the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services.

If you have a complaint about dental care, the Dental Complaints Service should be able to help.

At this point, your next steps depend on what the complaint is. If you are complaining about a service or treatment, but not about medical negligence, this will often be your last point of call. However, for medical negligence and malpractice, you may wish to escalate proceedings to a claim for compensation.

Contacting a solicitor

To make a claim for medical negligence compensation, you should work with a solicitor to ensure that you are given the best possible chance of success, as they will help you to put together an effective case.

Like claiming for medical negligence against the NHS, claims must be started within three years of the negligence taking place, or from the point when you became aware of it.

You are not alone in your journey for compensation for medical negligence. No matter who carried out the mistreatment, First4Lawyers can provide you with the legal advice and recommendations you need to make a success of your claim.

Contact us today about any medical negligence, whether it’s private or public, and for everything from dental care to nursing home negligence.

Updated:  Feb 2018