What do I do if I have concerns about care?
If you have concerns about the NHS care you are getting, then talk to your doctor or nurse first. It’s important to raise any concerns you have. Don't be worried that this will affect future treatment and care.
You can speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line to guide you through this process.
If talking to the doctor or nurse doesn’t improve the situation, you may want to take the issue further.
- In England, you can speak to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). Find out more on the NHS Choices website.
- In Scotland, you can speak to the Patient Advice and Support Service. Find out about them from Citizens Advice Scotland.
- In Wales, you can speak to the Local Health Board or NHS Trust. Find out more from NHS Direct Wales.
- In Northern Ireland, the Patient and Client Council can help you with your complaint. Find out more from the nidirect website.
If you are not happy with the response you receive, you can contact the Ombudsman. This is an organisation that handles health complaints. These include:
- the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman in England
- the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman
- the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales
- the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman.
With private healthcare, you should first talk to the doctor or nurse about your concerns. If the situation isn’t sorted out you can speak to the organisation that regulates the service. For example, you can report certain complaints to:
- the Care Quality Commission in England
- Healthcare Improvement Scotland or the General Medical Council in Scotland
- the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales or the Healthcare Inspectorate in Wales
- the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority in Northern Ireland.
Citizens Advice have more information about complaining about private healthcare.
Published August 2018
To be reviewed August 2020