This information doesn’t apply if you:
- are a patient in a private hospital paying for your own treatment.
- are a private patient in an NHS hospital. However you could make a complaint about someone who is supporting your treatment if they are on an NHS contract.
- want to challenge your detention in hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983. There is a special appeal procedure for this. But you can still complain about hospital care and treatment even if you're a detained patient.
Who is responsible for hospital care?
It can be confusing to work out who is responsible for your care in a hospital and who you can raise your concerns with. There are a number of options:
The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) provide a service to help sort out any problems or complaints that you may have about services or treatment provided at either Whittington, North Middlesex, Barnet and Chase Farm, Royal Free or University College Hospitals.
Whittington Hospital PALS Office can be contacted by:
Phone: 020 7288 5551
For more information see Whittington Health (link to website)
North Middlesex Hospital
North Middlesex Hospital PALS Office can be contacted by:
Phone: 020 8887 3172
For more information see North Middlesex Hospital Patient Advice and Liaison Service (link to website)
Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital
The Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital PALS Office can be contacted by:
Phone: 020 8216 4924
Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
Barnet EN5 3DJ
Visiting in person:
The service is open from 10am - 4pm, Monday to Friday.
They are situated on the ground floor of Barnet Hospital, near the main entrance.
If you are being treated at Chase Farm Hospital or another site and cannot make it to their office, please phone and they will arrange a time to visit you.
Royal Free Hospital
The Royal Free Hospital PALS Office can be contacted by:
Phone: 020 7472 6446 / 6447; (020 7472 6445 - 24 hour answer phone)
SMS: 447860023323 (Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing impaired patients only)
Visiting in person:
The service is open from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, except Wednesdays, when the hours are different. On Wednesdays the service is open from 10:30am to 4:00pm.
They are situated in the Royal Free Hospital’s main reception.
University College London Hospitals (UCLH)
The UCLH PALS Office can be contacted by:
Phone: 020 3447 3042
Online form (link to website)
Ground Floor Atrium
University College Hospital
235 Euston Road
London NW1 2BU
For more information visit the UCLH website (link to website).
Complain about an individual doctor
The General Medical Council registers doctors to practise in the UK and has the powers to issue a warning to a doctor, suspend or place conditions on their registration or remove a doctor from the register: http://www.gmc-uk.org/concerns/index.asp
NHS care in private hospitals
Haringey Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) buy or commission hospital services for local people and this could include commissioning treatment in a private hospital. If there's a problem and you don't want to complain directly to the private hospital, you can contact the Haringey CCG to raise concerns. Your GP can also refer you to a private hospital for NHS treatment. If this has happened to you see the GP section below.
Contact the North and East London Commissioning Support Unit (NEL CSU) which is an NHS organisation and manages the complaints process on behalf of Haringey CCG.
Phone: 020 3688 1623/1624
Apart from emergency care, hospital treatment is arranged through your GP. If there are problems with your care at the hospital, you could also inform your GP.
This is particularly the case if your GP has referred you to a private hospital for NHS treatment and you have concerns with your treatment or the service.
North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
North Central London CCG is responsible for buying or commissioning hospital care. You can make a complaint to them if:
- you’re unhappy with the care you get in a NHS hospital or in a private hospital with a contract to provide NHS services, and
- you don’t want to raise your concern directly with the hospital or your GP.
Phone: 020 3688 1700 email:
Citizens Advice also provide information on making complaints about hospitals.
Not happy with the way your complaint was dealt with?
Health Service Ombudsman
If you're unhappy with how the NHS have dealt with your complaint, contact the Health Service Ombudsman (link to wesbite).
Health Service Ombudsman service is free and is independent, not part of the NHS or Government and their powers are set down in law.
You can get in touch with the Health Service Ombudsman Monday – Friday between 8:30am to 5:30pm:
Phone: 0345 015 4033
Text: 'call back' with your name and mobile number to 07624 813 005 (and they'll call you back).
Textphone on 0300 061 4298 if you are deaf or have problems using a standard telephone.
Health Service Ombudsman
London SW1P 4QP
Care Quality Commission (CQC)
You may also contact the Care Quality Commission (CQC) (link to CQC website) who will use any information received as part of their inspection process to ensure that the provider meets the required standards for quality and safety of service users.
Healthwatch Haringey is not able to support people in making an individual complaint. This is known as a complaints advocacy service. The NHS Complaints Advocacy Service (link to website) provide a free, independent service for Haringey residents. Their website is dedicated to helping you understand what your options are and how to get the best resolution.
If you wish to complain about a National Health Service (NHS) please call London POhWER on 020 3553 5960, nationally on 0300 456 2370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org