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Complain about a service or provider

In the first instance, you should contact the service provider.

By law, all health and social care service providers must have a complaints procedure that you can ask to see, which will tell you how to make a complaint.

If you’re still not happy

If you have complained to the care provider and you are unhappy with their response, there are a number of actions you can take, depending on who the provider is and how your care is funded.

Complaints about the NHS

Contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).

Complaints about social care services

Council-funded care – You can make a complaint to your council if it pays for your care. If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman.

Self-funded care – If you pay for your care yourself, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman.

Complaints about GPs

CQC doesn't manage individual complaints about GPs and their services. You can find out more about making a complaint in our leaflet below and you may find our Contact details for healthcare complaints useful.

If you're not happy with the response you get when you complain to the service provider, you should contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).

Complain about the use of the Mental Health Act

If your complaint is about the use of powers or how duties are carried out under the Mental Health Act, you can complain directly to the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Complaints can be made by anyone – patients, staff or any member of the public.

Powers and duties carried out under the Mental Health Act cover a wide range of services, including receiving care while detained in hospital, or while on a guardianship or community treatment order.

If you ask us to investigate a complaint, we will usually ask you to complain to the service provider before we consider an investigation ourselves. If you need us to, we can help you make your complaint to the service provider.

Use the details below to contact us about the use of the Mental Health Act from 16 April 2012.

CQC Mental Health Act
Citygate
Gallowgate
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 4PA

Phone: 03000 616161 - press ‘1’ to speak to the mental health team.

When we receive a complaint, we first decide whether it is a complaint that we can help with. If we can't help, we will tell you why not and whether anyone else might be able to help you.

If we can look into it, we will write to tell you what will happen next. In either case, we aim to send our first reply within three working days.

Our policy on complaining about the use of the Mental Health Act

We have recently updated our policy on how we will look into complaints from, or about, people who are, or have been, detained in hospital, subject to a Community Treatment Order, or subject to guardianship.

Complaining about the use of the Mental Health Act - Policy PDF | 255.88 KB

Complaining about the use of the Mental Health Act - Easy to read PDF | 784.88 KB

Download our leaflet on how to make a complaint about a care service

How to complain about a health or social care service PDF | 687.9 KB

The leaflet is also available in the following alternative formats:

How to complain about your health service (Easy to read) PDF | 1 MB

How to complain about a health or social care service (Large print) PDF | 217.71 KB

How to complain about a health or social care service (Audio)

Last updated:
19 June 2014