The system set up so that any person who is a patient or was recently treated by an NHS practitioner can make a complaint. The NHS Complaints Procedure first came into operation on 1st April 1996. Every NHS organisation has a complaints process. A person wanting to complain about a NHS service, for example, a hospital, GP or optician, must ask the service for a copy of their complaints procedure which will explain what you need to do. The first step will normally be to raise the matter with the NHS service concerned. They may choose to do this in writing or by speaking to them. They may be able to resolve your concerns without the need to make a more formal complaint. There are three stages of the process – local resolution, independent review and ombudsman. Most cases are resolved at the first stage.