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the right to complain

One of the 12 statements in the Epilepsy charter covering the rights and services that a person with epilepsy can expect.

The Epilepsy charter says: ‘You have a right to complain about services or treatment.’ There are various procedures for doing this, and for taking your complaint further if it is not resolved.

National guidelines

The NHS Constitution (opens new window) says that you have:

"the right to have any complaint you make about NHS services acknowledged within three working days and to have it properly investigated...to be kept informed of progress, and to know the outcome of the complaint".

If issues can be resolved without needing a formal complaint, by speaking to someone on site, or to a manager related to the service, this may be quicker and less stressful for you.

Making a complaint

If you have a complaint about any NHS treatment or service, you can make your complaint at the point where you receive care either to the NHS service involved, or through the hospital’s PALS  (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) (opens new window). You can ask for a copy of their complaints procedure. Or you can complain to the relevant clinical commissioning group (CCG).

If your complaint is not resolved, you can take it to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (opens new window) or for a social care provider, to the Local Government Ombudsman (opens new window). You can also seek advice from NHS Choices (opens new window), where you can find information about the NHS complaints procedure.

There are also procedures if you are not satisfied with the outcome of any complaint, or if you feel you have been affected or harmed by treatment.

Get the charter

Order the fold-out guide through our online shop. The guide shows your care pathway from a first seizure, through diagnosis, treatment and self-management. Or download the Epilepsy charter (PDF, 790.74 kb).