complaints system

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A process that enables patients to voice concerns about the standard of care they receive within the NHS and through which they may be awarded compensation. Strict procedural rules apply to the management of complaints. A grievance is usually resolved at a local level within the institution or trust concerned. The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service is available to provide advice and guidance to complainants. If a patient is not satisfied with the outcome of local resolution, the matter can be referred to the Health Service Ombudsman. Legal action cannot usually proceed at the same time and only a small proportion of complaints proceed to law. Disciplinary procedures are separate from the complaints procedure although complaints may prompt or inform disciplinary action.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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