Complaining about health and social care

Explains what you can do if you experience a problem with the health or social care you receive or think you should have received. Applies to England and Wales.

Your stories

Stockport MindFest

Rachel, Mind Infoline advisor
Posted on 12/12/2013

Sharing my story with the Mind Infoline

Katie blogs about why she agreed to meet Mind's Infoline team, and shares her experiences of being sectioned.

Katie Siobhan
Posted on 13/12/2012

Mind's new text service

Simon blogs about the Mind Infoline's new text service and how he was involved in setting it up.

Simon
Posted on 01/05/2014

Where can I get support for making a health or social care complaint?

If you want support, advice or more information about how to complain, there are many organisations you can get in touch with for independent and free help.

In particular, you can contact:

Advice services

Here are some organisations that can give you advice, support and information about making a complaint:

  • Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) offers confidential advice, support and information about health care in England. They're based in hospitals and may be able to help you speak with someone informally about concerns you have with your health care. They can also help you get information about making a complaint to the NHS, or find independent support groups for making a complaint.

  • Community Health Councils (CHCs) are independent bodies that provide support if you want to make a complaint about the NHS in Wales. Your local CHC can give you free and confidential advice and help you make complaints, gain access to your medical records or other similar matters.

  • Patients Association is a charity which provides free and confidential information and advice about health care by phone, email and letter. It gives advice on a range of areas, including getting a second opinion, changing your GP or receiving treatment in a different hospital, and how to make a complaint.

  • Action Against Medical Accidents is an indepedent charity that provides free and confidential advice if you have experienced a medical accident. They can offer you support on private and NHS complaints processes, as well as advising on whether you should tell a regulator about your complaint or make a legal challenge.

For details on how to contact any of these organisations see Useful contacts.

Advocacy providers

Advocacy means getting support from another person to help you express your views and wishes, and to help make sure your voice is heard. Someone who helps you in this way is called your advocate. (See our pages on advocacy for general information on what advocacy is and how it can help you.)

Here are some organisations that offer advocacy services to help you make a complaint:

  • NHS complaints advocacy service can support you if you want to complain about care or treatment you have received, or expected to receive, from the NHS in England. They can help you understand the complaints process, find out what your different options are, and support you make a complaint from start to finish (if that's what you want). The service is free and confidential.

  • Community Health Councils (CHCs) are independent bodies that provide advocacy services if you want to make a complaint about the NHS in Wales. Your local CHC can give you free and confidential advice and help you make complaints, gain access to your medical records or other similar matters.

  • The Public Services Ombudsman looks into complaints about public services and independent care providers in Wales. Their website has a list of where you can find advocacy services in Wales.

  • HealthWatch England is the national consumer champion in health and care. It has powers to make sure your voice is heard by commissioners and regulators of health and care services.

For details on how to contact any of these organisations see Useful contacts.


This information was published in May 2017. We will revise it in 2019.


Mental Health A-Z

Information and advice on a huge range of mental health topics

> Read our A-Z

Training

Helping you to better understand and support people with mental health problems

> Find out more

Special offers

Check out our promotional offers on print and digital booklets, for a limited time only

> Visit our shop today