Writing a letter of complaint
Writing a letter of complaint can be a daunting task.
One of the most common issues we help people with is setting the letter out in the correct format.
Click the link below to view/download our letter of complaint example.
Here are some key points to remember when writing your letter.
try to keep your complaint to no more than two pages
be careful not to lose your main points in a long letter
if the complaint is long and complex, attach a log sheet or diary of events with details.
Be clear and straightforward
use short sentences
don’t be afraid to say what has upset you
avoid aggressive or accusing language
try not to repeat yourself
your complaint is an opportunity to improve things
put your concerns politely but firmly
explain what you would like to achieve as a result of your complaint, e.g. an apology, an explanation, a service improvement, any other remedy
take the opportunity to say what / who was good in your experience, if you wish to
keep a copy of all letters sent and received in date order
send photocopies of documents, not originals
keep the original documents in your possession
Make sure your letter is received
you may wish to send it by guaranteed or recorded delivery
What happens next?
NHS policy says that you should receive a letter of acknowledgement within three working days from receipt of your letter of complaint. The NHS should contact you to discuss your complaint and arrange a plan to resolve your concerns with you. This means that they will discuss how best to resolve your concerns and what you hope to achieve from raising them.
They should also agree with you a timescale for resolving the issues and keep you informed of progress. The suggested timescales can be influenced by things like how many staff they need to speak to, how easy it is for them to access your medical records and if other NHS organisations are involved in your complaint.
If there is a problem in keeping to this timescale, they should contact you before it expires to agree an amended timescale.