for better mental health

Abuse

Lists organisations and services who can help if you are experiencing abuse, or if you've experienced abuse in the past.

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 follow certain standards of care, including keeping professional boundaries and treating people with dignity and respect.

but we know that sometimes this doesn't happen and people receive poor quality mental health care. In some cases, it might be 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, help and support are available. If you want to speak to somebody about your experiences or find emotional support, it may help to contact the organisations on our page about different types of abuse

It may also help to try talking therapy or counselling to help deal with any difficult feelings and emotions you are experiencing. See our pages on talking therapy and counselling for more information, including how to find a counsellor. 

What if I want to report the abuse?

If you have been abused by a health or social care worker and wish to report it, your options include:

If you want to complain or report any abuse you've experienced, you might find it helpful to:

Where else can I get help?

The organisations listed below may also be able to help if you wish to report abuse by a health or social care worker, or find support if you have experienced abuse. 

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

cqc.org.uk
Regulates and inspects health and social care services in England.

Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW)

careinspectorate.wales
Independent regulator for social care in Wales, where you can make complaints about care providers and workers.

Citizens Advice

0800 144 8848 (England Adviceline)
0800 702 2020 (Wales Adviceline)
0800 144 8884 (Relay UK, textphone)
citizensadvice.org.uk
Free, confidential information and advice on your rights, including money, housing, legal and other problems.

General Medical Council (GMC)

gmc-uk.org
Helps to protect patients and support doctors, and maintains a register of licensed doctors.

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

hcpc-uk.co.uk
Regulates some types of health, psychology and social work professionals.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW)

hiw.org.uk
Independent regulator for healthcare in Wales, where you can make complaints and provide feedback.

HealthWatch England

healthwatch.co.uk
Helps represent people who use health and social care services in England.

Mind Infoline

0300 123 3393
[email protected]
Free and confidential information about support and services in your area, including advocacy support.

Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS)

nhs.uk/common-health-questions/nhs-services-and-treatments/what-is-pals-patient-advice-and-liaison-service
Offer confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters. You can find them by searching on NHS UK or asking a doctor or healthcare professional for their details.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

nmc.org.uk
Regulates nurses and midwives in the UK.

Victim Support

0808 168 9111
victimsupport.org.uk
Provides emotional and practical support for people affected by crime and traumatic events.

This information was published in November 2016.

This page is currently under review. All content was accurate when published. 

References are available on request. If you would like to reproduce any of this information, see our page on permissions and licensing.

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