I feel I've had some really bad advice from my GP recently. Can you tell me how I can make a complaint?
Firstly, ask your surgery for a copy of its complaints procedure and find out who is nominated to handle complaints at your surgery.
Generally, there are two main ways to complain about your doctor:
- To either write or speak to your GP about your complaint.
- Or raise the issue with your local primary care trust. This is called local resolution, and most cases are resolved at this stage.
If you’re still unhappy, you can refer the matter to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who is independent of the NHS and government. You should be aware that this option to complain is highly likely to be unavailable if you start any form of legal proceedings against your doctor.
If your complaint against your doctor is serious enough to warrant discipline by the members of his profession, then you should contact the GMC and make your complaint there. If The GMC finds in your favour, then the doctor could be ‘struck off’ and not allowed to work. This could be for a set period while the doctor is retrained or it could be for life.
You can also take your GP to court, but only if you believe your doctor’s actions have adversely affected your health and have caused you physical, mental or financial damage. This is the only process that could result in financial compensation, but it could take a long time and can be emotionally draining. Going to court can also cost a great deal of money, especially if you lose. You will require expert legal representation if you decide to go to court.