Feedback and Complaints


Making a formal complaint

If you or a family member have a concern, this should be raised directly with the relevant service or carers caring for you. They may need to escalate the feedback to a senior colleague on duty and/or our Patient Experience/Governance Team for further intervention or support. All comments and complaints are investigated thoroughly and are confidential.

Our promise to you:

  • We will listen to every complaint.
  • We will be open, honest and thorough in any investigation.
  • We will respond promptly.
  • We will deal with everyone fairly and objectively.
  • We will seek to resolve any issues amicably.
  • We will use the experience to improve our services and standards.

Patient Support Organisations

The following organisations provide advice and support to patients in making complaints:

All complaints are recorded and reviewed in line with our Complaints Policy and Procedure. In the event you wish to make a written complaint, please write to us directly at, no later than six months after the incident occurred. If your concern took place more than six months after you raised it, we may not be able to fully assist you with your complaint.

All complaints are investigated thoroughly and are confidential. Your letter should include:

  • Your name and address.
  • The name and address of the patient (if different).
  • Patient’s date of birth.
  • Patient’s hospital number (if known).
  • Complainant’s contact details including telephone and email address.
  • A full description of all issues about which you wish to complain, including relevant dates and times.

This information will enable us to investigate your complaint quickly and effectively.

During the investigation of your complaint a senior manager or our Patient Experience/Governance Manager will speak with you about your complaint or offer to meet to resolve your complaint. All meetings will be followed up in writing by Royal Free Private Patients Unit. If a relative or friend wishes to raise a complaint on your behalf, we will require written consent from you before we can discuss information related to your care. This is to ensure your confidentiality is protected. We will also share a summary of the complaint with you as it is important for you to understand the contents of the complaint being raised.

When you make a complaint, we will share your complaint with the relevant services and/or your consultant to help us investigate your feedback and provide you with a response. If you do not wish for us to contact the relevant services or consultant, please let us know although, this will limit our investigation on your behalf.

The formal complaint process consists of three stages:

Royal Free Private Patients Unit is subscribed to the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS) and follows its three-stage complaint process.

The Independent Sector Complaint Adjudication Service (ISCAS) is an organization that make final decisions on unresolved complaints about independent healthcare providers.

Please click here to download a copy of our complaint management procedure.

Stage 1 - Local resolution

On receipt of your complaint, the Patient Experience/Governance Manager will call to discuss the concerns you raised or offer a meeting to resolve your complaint. Your complaint will be acknowledged in writing within three working days.
We will undertake a thorough investigation into your complaint, and usually you will be sent a full reply within 20 working days; however, depending on the nature of the complaint, it can sometimes take time to establish the facts and circumstances. If a response is likely to take longer than 20 working days or a response is delayed for any reason, the Patient Experience/Governance Manager will advise you of this in writing, and a holding letter will be sent informing you an additional 20 working days is needed to complete the investigation.

Stage 2 - Internal appeal/review

If you are unhappy about how your complaint was handled and remain concerned with our response at stage 1, you are entitled to have your complaint reviewed at Stage 2.

In order to conduct a Stage 2 review, you should send your reply to the complaints team or write to the Royal Free Private Patients Medical Director within six months of the date of our final Stage 1 letter outlining your concerns regarding our response.
The Medical Director will carry out an objective and impartial review of your Stage 1 complaint.

We ask that in your letter you summarise your dissatisfaction with the hospital’s initial/Stage 1 response.

Stage 3 – Independent external adjudication

If you are still not satisfied with the response following a Stage 2 review, you can raise your concerns with ISCAS within six months of the final decision of the hospital’s Stage 2 internal review. ISCAS will assess your complaint and how we have handled it and will then consider an independent review.

ISCAS will provide you with further details of this stage of the complaint process. It is important that you read the details provided carefully before deciding whether or not to proceed.

It may be necessary to take independent legal advice before you make a decision to proceed.

Once you have confirmed that you wish to proceed, ISCAS will make the necessary arrangements.

You can then expect:

  • An independent external adjudicator to review your case.
  • To be kept informed of the timing of events by the adjudicator.
  • To be notified of the final decision in writing with explanations.

Please note that the adjudicator’s decision is final and binding, however, it does not affect your right to take legal action.
To take your complaint to ISCAS visit: or call 020 7536 6091 (Monday – Friday; 09:00 – 17:00).

Alternatively, you can write to ISCAS at:

Independent Sector Complaint Adjudication Service (ISCAS)
CEDR, 3rd Floor
100 St. Paul’s Churchyard

Or by email to

Equality Statement

Royal Free Private Patients Unit is committed to equality and will not discriminate.

No patient, or any other person involved in the investigation or resolution of a complaint, will receive discrimination on the grounds of age, race, ethnic or national origin, religious and political beliefs, gender reassignment, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or trade union membership.

Royal Free Private Patients Unit is registered and regulated by The Care Quality Commission.

Privacy Notice

You can find further information on our privacy notice here.

What to expect from independent healthcare

Play Video