Complaint Options

You can complain, if you think that you've been mistreated, or that you've received misleading or insufficient information, prior to the treatment.

Who should I make the complaint to?

First, you should contact the hospital or clinic where you recieved treatment, and explain why you are dissatisfied. Often, the treatment provider will be receptive to your concerns and offer some sort of solution.

The the issue cannot be resolved this easily, your options depend on whether the treatment was performed through the NHS system.

NHS Treatments

If your treatment took place on an NHS hospital, you can follow the NHS complaints procedure. If the treatment took place at a private clinic or hospital, you only have this option if the treatment was paid for by the NHS.

The first step of the NHS complaints procedure is to send a formal complaint to the complaints manager at the organisation where you were treated. At dental clinics and private clinics, this will usually be the practice manager. You should receive a response within 10 - 25 working days.

The majority of cases are resolved at this stage, but if you're not satisfied with the response to your complaint, you can submit your complaint to the Healthcare Commission. This must be done within 6 months after receiving a response to your initial complaint.

If you were treated by a surgeon or clinic that does not meet with the laws and regulations, you would be able to report this to the Healthcare Commission as well.

If you're not satisfied with the final resolution from the NHS, you can contact the Health Service Ombudsman.

You can read more about the complaints procedure for NHS services here:
The NHS Complaints Procedure (PDF)

Contact details for submitting NHS complaints:

Address: FREEPOST NAT 18958, Complaints investigation team, Manchester, M1 9XZ
Website: Healthcare Commission
Tel: 0845 601 3012

If you need assistance with making a complaint in the NHS system, you can contact the independent ICAS agency:
Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)

IHAS members

If you've had cosmetic treatment at a private clinic or hospital which is a member of the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services (IHAS), you can follow their complaints procedure.

Please see this leaflet for information about the IHAS complaints procedure:
IHAS: Making a complaint in the independent sector, a guide for patients

IHAS website:

Other private clinics and hospitals

If you've had cosmetic surgery or another cosmetic treatment at a private clinic or hospital which is not a member of IHAS, you must follow the clinic's own complaint procedure. If you're not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, your only option is to take legal action yourself.

If needing to take legal action you can get assistance at The Law Society:
Tel: 0870 606 2555

The Patients Association

The Patients Association is an independent national charity that can help patients with their problems in the healthcare system.

The Patients Association can provide you with more information on how to proceed with your complaint.

Patients Association website: