Medical negligence in a health or care service

You have a legal right to get the full truth from doctors, medical or care staff, about your diagnosis, care and treatment. Doctors, medical or other care staff have a legal duty of candour to their patients and service users. ‘Candour’ means being open and honest.

What is medical negligence?

Medical Negligence can also be called ‘clinical negligence’, or ‘negligence’ or ‘medical error’.

AVMA – what is the duty of candour?

Citizens Advice Bureau – what is clinical negligence?

MIND – what is clinical negligence?

AVMA – your rights in negligence cases


How to complain

How you complain is different depending on whether the service is from:

  • a public organisation, or
  • a private or charity organisation.


Public health and social care organisations

  • The National Health Service (NHS). All services are free from NHS hospitals and clinics, but you might have to pay for services from NHS dentist
  • Brent Clinical Commissioning Group (Brent CCG). Brent CCG organises the services you get from your GP and some Walk-In Centre clinics. All services from your GP are free. Some services from Walk-In Centres are free.
  • Brent Council. Brent Council organises adult social care and children’s social care services. You might have to pay for some adult social care services.

Private and charity organisations

Private or charities can provide health and social care services too. You have to pay for many services from private companies or charities. Pharmacies on the high street, Walk-In Centres, hospitals and clinics can all be private companies. Ask about the cost of services before you take them.


Choose 1 of the 2 options below

Option 1 How to complain about public service

Option 2 How to complain private or charity service


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