for better mental health

Abuse

Gives information that may help if you have experienced abuse.

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)

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

Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW)

0300 7900 126
careinspectorate.wales
Independent regulator for social care in Wales, where you can make complaints about care providers and workers.

Citizens Advice

03444 111 444 (Adviceline)
03444 111 445 (Text relay)
citizensadvice.org.uk
Free, confidential information and advice on your rights, including with 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)

0300 062 8163
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. 

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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