Gives information that may help if you have experienced abuse.

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Abuse by health and social care workers

Health and social care workers are responsible for providing health or social care. This includes: GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, health care assistants, counsellors, therapists and occupational therapists.

All health and social care workers must adhere to certain standards of care, including maintaining professional boundaries and treating people with dignity and respect.

However, we know that sometimes this doesn’t happen and people receive poor quality mental health care. In some cases, this can amount to abuse.

Abuse by a health or social care worker could mean:

  • psychological abuse ­
  • emotional abuse
  • verbal abuse
  • sexual abuse
  • discriminatory abuse
  • physical abuse
  • financial or material abuse
  • neglect.

If you think you have been abused by a health or social care worker, it’s important to get support and find out what your options are.

These include:

You might also find it helpful to:

See also Mind’s campaign page on what to do if you’re a victim of crime.

Useful contacts

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

tel: 03000 616161  

Independent regulator for health and social care, where you can make complaints about care providers and workers.

Citizens Advice

advice lines: 08444 111 444 (England); 0844 477 2020 (Wales)
TextRelay service: 08444 111 445 with online advice from their
Confidential support and advice, including information about your legal rights.

General Medical Council (GMC)

Regulating body for doctors in the UK, with register of doctors and complaints process.

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Keeps a register of accredited health and social care workers.


03000 683 000

Independent consumer champion for health and social care in England.

Mind Legal Advice Service

0300 466 6463

Free and confidential information about legal rights in relation to mental health.

Mind Infoline

0300 123 3393

Free and confidential information about support and services in your area, including advocacy support.

NHS choices

Includes search function that allows you to find PALS offices in your area.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

tel: 020 7637 7181

Regulating body for nurses and midwifes in the UK, and information about complaining.

Victim Support

supportline: 0845 30 30 900

Free and confidential information and support for victims and witnesses of crime, including victims of abuse.


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