What happens if something goes wrong?

By Keith Pollard on 03 November 2022

Printable advice sheet to take with you to hospital on being prepared and actions you may need to take

Download as printable PDF

  • Plan properly for the recovery period and ask what possible complications could arise at your initial consultation or before the treatment
  • Immediate post-operative problems will be solved during your stay in the hospital, so it is good to allow some flexibility to your schedule - just in case
    Ask your doctor to explain what is and isn’t normal for the days following treatment.
  • If something does go wrong, if you are unhappy with your surgery or it has been badly performed talk to your doctor straight away to seek a resolution
  • If infections or other problems occur afterwards you should contact your doctor (or the hospital if you’ve already been discharged) immediately and follow their instructions

How do I complain?

  • All private hospitals must have a complaints procedure and be able to provide information to their patients about how to complain
  • Ask for a copy of the hospital or insurance company’s complaints procedure if you are making a formal complaint
  • Keep a record of all phone calls, letters, emails, face to face conversations, etc, including who you spoke to, what was said and the date/time


  • If you are unsure about what to do at any point, the following organisations can provide help and advice:
  • The Patients’ Association represents the interests of patients and provides independent advice on pursuing a private complaint
  • Action against Medical Accidents is a charity helping patients who have suffered from medical accidents and clinical negligence
  • Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS), if you have a complaint about a hospital/clinic/treatment centre which subscribes to the ISCAS complaints scheme

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