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Posted on 12th February 2018

Most Common Medical Complaints

Visiting a GP or hospital is never a pleasant task. Aside from the concern of your health, or the wellbeing of a loved one, attending a medical facility can provide added stress as you put your care in the trust of someone else. Hospitals, GP surgeries and other medical facilities also come with their own stresses. In fact, with so many aspects involved in your care, it is no surprise that many people can list a handful of complaints, from the downright dangerous to the minor irritations and annoyances.

At Negligence Claimline, we are specialists in clinical and medical negligence. We strive to put things right and seek compensation when an apology simply is not enough. While we cannot help with every GP or hospital complaint, there are many aspects of your care that we can help you with.

How many complaints?

In 2017, the NHS received 208,400 written complaints. On average, this means that there were 571 written complaints sent every single day. There were 90,600 written complaints about primary care. 83% of the complaints relating to a service area were about GP surgeries while 14.6% covered dental practices.

For secondary care, which covers hospital and community care, there were 117,800 complaints in just one year. This shows a 1.4% increase from 2016 to 2017.  

Which regions received the most complaints in 2017?


However, regions with the highest increase of written complaints were Lancashire (14.6% increase) West Midlands (11.1% increase) and the North Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber both saw an 8% increase.

Most common medical complaints

1. Disagreement with diagnosis

When we visit a GP, we expect our condition to be taken seriously. In some cases, you may disagree about your diagnosis from the GP and want to have reassurance for peace of mind. In other cases, a GP may not have fully considered your symptoms and could potentially make a misdiagnosis.

What you should do: If you do not agree with the diagnosis the doctor provides, you can ask for a second opinion. It is worthwhile remembering that doctors are very busy and their time should be devoted to those they can help; they may not appreciate you disputing their expertise. However, if you don’t believe you have a correct diagnosis, you can ask your doctor for a second opinion. If they refuse, you have the right to change GP or register with another surgery.



How Negligence Claimline can help: If it is found that the doctor has misdiagnosed your condition which has led to further or extensive health problems, then you may have a right to compensation and to make a claim. If a misdiagnosis has delayed your treatment and recovery, then it is crucial for you to receive justice. You may feel an apology is enough, but when it isn’t, you may be eligible for compensation.

2. Medical professional rudeness

One of the biggest complaints of medical professionals is poor bedside manner. As a patient, you have a right to be treated with respect, care and compassion. If the standard of care is having an adverse effect on your health and wellbeing or if you were not listened to or spoken to unkindly, then you should make your opinion known.

What you should do: If you have experienced rudeness or dismissive behaviour, then you should not tolerate that behaviour and make a complaint with the channels in place. For example, the NHS has a complaints procedure for NHS experiences and private and independent medical facilities will usually have their own process for complaints.

Within a complaint, you should state what outcome you are expecting, whether it is an answer or an apology. Most organisations should contact you to acknowledge your complaint and then follow with an investigation and resolution or response within a specified timeframe.

How Negligence Claimline can help: While we can’t make people friendlier, we can help if your complaint has not been answered or if you were dismissed even though there was a serious condition to treat.

3. Waiting times

When a health condition is impacting our quality of life, we expect prompt treatment to feel better. If waiting times for treatment is beyond reasonable and causes your state to deteriorate further or causes complications, then it is essential to make your complaint known as you should receive the correct treatment in the right timeframe.


What you should do: To speed up treatment times, you can be asked to be put on a cancellation list or be referred to a different hospital. If administrative errors or time issues lead to your condition deteriorating, adding complications or meaning there is extended healing time, then you can make a complaint.

How Negligence Claimline can help: If a delay in treatment has lead to injury or harm that could have been avoided, then Negligence Claimline can help you to get the compensation you deserve for delayed treatment and non-routine procedures.

4. Hospital parking charges

When there is an extended stay in the hospital for yourself or a loved one, then you often pay the price through extortionate parking fees. In fact, in 2016, NHS hospitals in England alone made over £120 million in car parking charges. Sadly, not all of this money goes back into improving hospital services; often the money is handed to private firms responsible for the parking charges and fines.

Parking Meter

What you should do: Arrange alternative transport methods for visiting a hospital, or try and find a free parking location close to the hospital.

How Negligence Claimline can help: Sadly, we cannot assist with this one, but we can share your frustration.

5. Care and mistakes

With rising pressures in hospitals, there is evidence of errors being made. Many patients have had examples where they have not been treated with the dignity they deserve. In some cases, those who do not receive the necessary treatment they require can cause further health complications such as bedsores, weight loss and infections.

Mistakes in care can happen in many areas whether it is incorrect reading or inaccurate medical records, prescribing the wrong medication or staff being unaware of a deteriorating condition.

What you should do: Write a detailed account of your treatment, concern and events. If you are in hospital note the times that you have been seen and attended to. Memories can fade, especially if you have undue stress because of your health condition. Writing notes can help you to understand the nature of your complaint and back it up with evidence.

How Negligence Claimline can help: If you have received neglectful care or suffered as a result of mistakes made by medical professionals, then our team of medical negligence solicitors can undoubtedly help you to gain the support you need and the compensation you deserve.

The future of medical complaints

While private hospitals will have their own complaints log and statistics, the NHS freely publishes their complaint statistics, for us to gain a better perspective on the treatment we can expect to receive. However, with a recent opinion poll, the future of complaints look set to rise.

A poll by the British Medical Association showed that;

  1. 43% of people are dissatisfied with the NHS while only 33% are satisfied
  2. 82% of people are worried about the future of the NHS
  3. 62% of people expect NHS to get worse.

With these statistics in mind, we can only start to imagine what will be the next biggest complaints for the medical profession.

Further Information