What are my rights?
When you buy private healthcare, you are buying a service. By law your private healthcare provider must stick to everything that you have both agreed to. This is known as a contract.
If you have problems with the service you have had, you can complain. You may want to complain for different reasons.
How to make a general complaint?
First you should contact the person you have seen for treatment directly. Your healthcare provider might have their own complaints department that can deal with your issue. You could also ask for a copy of their complaints procedure. You should explain why you are complaining, what has happened and what you would like to happen to deal with the problem.
You should explain why you are complaining, what has happened and what you would like to happen to deal with the problem.
It is usually best to make a complaint in writing, either by letter or email. You should keep a copy of any letters or emails. If you speak to someone on the phone or face to face, make a note of who you spoke to, what you discussed and the date and time.
Healthcare Improvement Scotland is responsible for regulating private hospitals and clinics in Scotland and can deal with complaints against private healthcare providers. Details of how to make a complaint are available on their website.
Contacting professional associations
All doctors (for example GPs and psychiatrists) must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC). The GMC makes sure that doctors meet the standards expected for good medical practice.
If you have a concern about a doctor you could get in touch with the GMC.
You could also get in touch with the professional associations or body that oversees the area of treatment you’re having.
How to make a complaint about negligence?
If your care has been below the standard you expected and has caused you physical or psychological injury, you may be able to make a clinical negligence claim.
You can get financial compensation if you win your case. It can be difficult to prove clinical negligence and you would need to seek expert legal advice.
You can get advice from Action Against Medical Accidents. They are a team of medically and legally trained caseworkers who can give free advice and support on clinical negligence claims.