If you have had private healthcare treatment and are not satisfied with the treatment you or your loved ones have received, then you are entitled to make a complaint to your provider much in the same way as you are able to within the NHS. You should follow this process in order to receive the best outcome.
Contact your Consultant
The best place to start is by speaking to your original consultant or physician. This can be especially important if you or your loved ones require ongoing treatment as any queries or misunderstandings can be addressed at this stage.
Write a formal complaint to the hospital or clinic
If this does not resolve your concerns regarding treatment you may wish to make a formal complaint in writing and your provider should have information available online or be able to provide you with this on contact on where to address this to.
In order for your complaint to be addressed in a timely manner, you should contact them as soon as possible or within six months of your awareness of the incident to allow them to investigate your complaint thoroughly.
To assist with the complaint process you should provide as much information as possible including dates of procedures, meetings, phone calls and correspondence you have received.
You should then receive a written acknowledgement to confirm your complaint is being looked into and updates on how long the complaint will take
How does the hospital or clinic address my complaint?
The hospital or clinic will investigate your complaint by speaking to the member of staff or department where you received your treatment. Your medical records may also be reviewed.
Following this, you may be given the opportunity to attend a meeting. These meetings may be beneficial for you to ask all the questions about the treatment you receive and for the hospital to explain the reasoning for their treatment.
At the end of the meeting, you may request a written response that will note the key points and concerns discussed. Alternatively, the hospital may provide you with a written response only.
What should you do if you are dissatisfied with the response?
Should you be dissatisfied with the outcome of the meeting or the written response you receive you can write to the Independent Healthcare Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS).
The ISCAS will select an investigating director to review the decision and response the hospital has provided to your complaint. To proceed with this enquiry you must agree that their decision will be final and any payment offered will be final in that you may not seek further compensation. Therefore, at this stage, you would be encouraged to speak to a clinical negligence solicitor.
Write a complaint to the Care Quality Commission
Finally, if you are unhappy with the response you have received or should your private health provider fail to respond to your complaint you are able to make a complaint directly to the Care Quality Commission.