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How to complain about healthcare treatments

Which? helps you through complaint processes

GP complaints

If you’ve had poor healthcare treatment but don’t know who to turn to, our updated healthcare complaint guides can help. 

Whether you’re unhappy with your GP, dentist or optician, our health and wellbeing rights advice outlines who to complain to and how to escalate complaints.

Poor treatment from a GP

If you’re concerned about the quality of your doctor’s care, complain to the practice in the first instance. Our template letter can help you complain to a GP practice manager

If you’d rather not raise this issue with your GP surgery directly, you can complain to your primary care trust.

The final step is to contact the Health Service Ombudsman, which looks at all complaints but only acts when an administrative or service failure has occurred.  

GP surgery concerns

If you’re concerned that your GP practice is unsafe and your practice manager is unable to resolve the issue, in England the Health Service Ombudsman can act on complaints where service failures are occurring. 

Separate ombudsmen deal with complaints in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. 

Dentist complaints

Should you wish to complain about your dentist, again the first step is to take it up with your practice. 

Both private and NHS patients can also report dentists to the General Dental Council, which acts if ability, behaviour or health means that it’s not suitable for a dentist to continue working.

Complaints about opticians

If you think that you’ve had poor quality service from an optician, or there’s a problem with your glasses, contact the practice.

If it can’t resolve your issue, consider reporting your optician to the General Optical Council, which will act if they’re deemed unfit to work.

The Optical Consumer Complaints Service may also be able to help, by offering mediation if your eye test or glasses are of poor quality – or not fit for purpose.

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