Complain about a hospital, community or mental health service

Page last updated: 12 May 2022

If you have experienced or seen poor care from a health care service, you have a right to complain to the organisation that provided or paid for the care.

By law, all health and social care services must have a procedure for dealing efficiently with complaints.

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 are complaining about a NHS service, you can also contact your local Healthwatch to find out how to get help.

You can complain to us about a way the Mental Health Act has been used and we will investigate.

Tell us

You should also tell us about the poor care that you have seen or experienced.

Although we are not able to take forward complaints on your behalf, information given to us helps protect others from going through the same experience.

Give feedback on care

If you are not satisfied

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

Complaints about the NHS

This includes care funded by the NHS and delivered by private providers.

Contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Complaints about private healthcare (not including dental or eye care)

If the service is a subscriber to the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS), and you are not happy with how the provider handled your original complaint, you can escalate your case to ISCAS. This includes private healthcare delivered by NHS providers.

Contact the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service.

Complaints about use of the Mental Health Act

How to contact us to complain about a use of the Mental Health Act

Report an unregistered service

Tell us if you think somebody is providing health or adult social care services without being registered with us.

Report an unregistered provider