Resolving a concern informally

As a user of NHS services, you may experience something that is cause for concern that you would like to be put right. If you are in this situation, it is usually best to directly approach the healthcare provider* or, if the provider has one, the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) to find a solution. 

If you are unsure how to do this, please reach out to our team for additional information.

*Providers include hospital trusts, GP surgeries, dentists, opticians and pharmacies.

Making a complaint

In situations where concerns cannot be resolved informally or the event/concern happened in the previous 12 months, you have the option to make a formal complaint to the service provider.

There is a formal procedure for bringing NHS complaints that our team at Healthwatch Lewisham can guide you through. Learn more about what you can expect from this process in our Guide to Making a Complaint About an NHS Service linked below.

If you choose to start this process, our team will:

  • give you the information you need to bring your own complaint,
  • advise you through the complaint process,
  • write letters on your behalf and/or attend meetings with you.

Making a complaint to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman

Should you be dissatisfied with the response from the NHS provider, you can take your complaint to the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO). 

This is the second and final stage of the official complaints process. You can access the PHSO’s complaint process and forms here.

Our team at Healthwatch Lewisham can support you to do this.

Contact the Lewisham Independent Health Complaints Advocacy service

020 3886 0196 

Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Healthwatch Lewisham 

Waldram Place 

Forest Hill 

London SE23 2LB

If you call outside of opening hours, please leave a message with your name and contact information and someone will get back to you the next working day. 

Guidance and Templates

We have a created a selection of useful guides and templates which offer advice to anyone who wants to make a complaint. All of these items can be downloaded below.

Healthwatch Lewisham Advocacy Services Leaflet
Guide to Making a Complaint About an NHS Service
Complaints Letter Template
Complaints Consent Form
Independent Complaints Advocacy - Useful Contacts and Addresses
Independent Complaints Advocacy - Other Useful Agencies