How to make a complaint about health services

Family with little girl and professional

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Hospitals and community trusts have teams, usually referred to as the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), to help patients, carers, and relatives with enquiries or concerns. These teams can:

  • Listen to your concerns
  • Help sort out problems quickly
  • Provide information on NHS services.

PALS act confidentially when handling patient and family concerns, liaising with staff, managers, and where appropriate, relevant organisations to provide solutions.

If the PALS team is unable to resolve your concerns you have the right to make a formal complaint and they can give guidance and advice on what you need to do.


If your complaint relates to NHS treatment and care you are advised to complain directly to that service’s central complaints team.

If you are unhappy with a primary care service, such as your GP practice, optician, or pharmacist, you can complain either directly to the practice manager of the surgery or if you prefer to NHS England, the organisation which manages complaints about these services:

Telephone: 0300 311 22 33 (Monday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm, excluding Bank Holidays)


Write to: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch B97 9PT

NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ensures that it is kept informed of the complaints received by its providers and of improvements to services resulting from complaints.

You can find out more on the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System Patient Experience page

Legal rights of children, young people and adults

Get Your Rights is an interactive website that helps to explain to children and young people their rights when using the NHS. 

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau also provides wide-ranging advice and support.


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