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Complain about a service or provider

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Complaints to providers – and why we can’t take them up on your behalf

If you’ve experienced or seen poor care, you have a right to feed back or complain to the organisation that provided or paid for the care.

We can’t make these complaints for you or take them up on your behalf. That may seem confusing but it’s because we don’t have powers to investigate or resolve them.

The only exception to this is for people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.

If you do give feedback or make a complaint to an organisation that provided or paid for care, we really want to know too.

Please tell us as well as making your complaint to the provider. Your information will help us to protect others from going through the same experience.

How to complain

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

All health and social care service providers must have a complaints procedure that you can ask to see. This will tell you how to make a complaint.

If you think a crime has been committed or a provider is delivering services without being registered with us, you should report a concern.

If you're not satisfied with the response

If you've complained to the care provider and you're unhappy with their response, the next step depends on the type of service and how your care is funded.

Complaints about the NHS (including GP and dental services)

Contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO).

Complaints about adult social care

If the care is funded or arranged by a council, 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.

If you pay for your care yourself you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman.

Last updated:
31 May 2016