Gives information that may help if you have experienced abuse.

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Posted on 24/02/2014

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  
web: cqc.org.uk     

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

Care Inspectorate Wales

tel: 0300 7900 126
web: careinspectorate.wales

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

Citizens Advice

advice lines: 03444 111 444 (England); 0344 477 2020 (Wales)
TextRelay service: 03444 111 445

online advice: adviceguide.org.uk
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.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales

tel: 0300 062 8163
web: hiw.org.uk 

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


tel: 03000 683 000
web: healthwatch.co.uk

Independent consumer champion for health and social care in England.

Mind Infoline

tel: 0300 123 3393
email: [email protected]

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

NHS choices

web: nhs.uk

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

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

tel: 020 7637 7181


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

Victim Support

supportline: 0808 1689 111 (Mon to Fri: 8pm to 8am; weekend: 24 hour service).
[email protected]

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

This information was published in November 2016.

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