Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
To contact ones MP initially with a complaint is not the ideal way.
He \She will no doubt ask if you have gone through the complaints procedure before contacting them.
If not,it will be said, the receiver of the complaint has not had the option to discuss the complaint with you and try to settle the dispute.
From personal experience I would suggest follow the complaints procedure first, and give notice that you will be contacting your MP should your griveance not be resolved.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
Give notice that you will be contacting your MP should your grievance not be resolved.

Sounds like a good
Idea how to word it to SW , thanks

Yes, the mere mention of complaining does give them the wobblers.


Registered User
Oct 28, 2006
Bromley Kent
My Mum is in hospital and they have this PALS office..think it stands for patient advocacy liason service or maybe patient advice and listening service?
Spoke at length to a lady yesterday about all the pitfalls we have had to deal with including the whole social worker debarcle and she was writing notes and will send on to relevent people. Not sure if this will be of any use but at least its someone else rattling the bars with more energy than me at present.


Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
For complaints about NHS services there are supposed to be advice/advocacy services called Independent Complaints Advocacy Services, ICAS for short, which will provide support and information to patients , relatives, carers etc. These exist across the country and partially replace the former providers of independent advice, Community Health Councils, which were abolished in December 2003. Go to for more information.

PALS services can be good too, but remember that their staff are NHS employees and not independent of the service you may wish to complain against. Some are distinctly better than others. Some can be a bit slow to respond or simply give fairly basic advice, not always the most useful.

For complaints against care homes, there should be in house complaints procedures which should be available to residents and relatives. Use these procedures before any other route. Going to an MP may be helpful subsequently, as Norman says. The Commission for Social Care Inspection,
will also pick up on complaints against homes where you feel the reply is unsatisfactory or has been late in coming.

Now a note of caution which may seem to contradict the above advice. My experience of care homes has been that even a hint of discontent may antagonise them, and in my relative's case resulted in her ultimate loss of her place there. Be very careful how you raise your concerns, especially if there is any likelihood that the management would like to evict. They can and do do this, usually on the basis of 'not being able to meet the person's care needs'. Don't give them an excuse to do this.

For services provided by local authorities, there will also be formal complaints procedures which clients and their carers and relatives can and should use.

For both NHS and Local Authority complaints, there is a level of appeal through an Ombudsman. Go through the local procedure first though as Ombudsmen offices do not consider complaints which have not been pursued at the lower layer first.
Last edited:


Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
Hi Deborah Blythe.
Thank you for your posting on complaints
As a past chairman of a now (sadly)abolished Community Health Council,and still associated with the CSCI,your posting is very useful,and confirms my original posting regarding MPs.
Last edited:

Members online

Forum statistics

Latest member