Patient and public

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Concerns about NHS treatment

The BMA isn't a regulatory body and we can't investigate complaints. However, this resource gives you information on how to raise concerns about healthcare, whether in the NHS or privately.

If you wish to discuss any aspects of the care you are receiving from the NHS, you can raise them directly with the provider of those services, for example; a GP, nurse, or NHS hospital staff, or with the commissioner of those services.


GP care

You can attempt to resolve the matter locally by raising it directly with the GP concerned or with the practice manager or senior partner at your surgery. Alternatively, you can raise the matter with the local organisation involved in primary care:


NHS hospital care

You should contact the hospital or trust concerned and ask to speak to a relevant member of staff, who may be able to resolve your concerns. You can also ask to see a copy of their complaints procedure.

Find contact details for a particular NHS hospital:


Referral to the health ombudsman

If you are not satisfied with the local resolution, you can ask for the matter to be referred to the ombudsman responsible for health in your nation.

Visit the health ombudsman's website:


Help with raising concerns about your care

There are a range of governmental and independent bodies that can help and advise you in making a complaint about the healthcare you received.

Find out who can help you with your complaint

Concerns about independent care

If you wish to make a complaint about an independent (private) healthcare service, in the first instance you should contact the person or organisation that provides the service. By law, they should have a procedure in place for dealing efficiently with patient complaints.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) registers private providers of healthcare. It also carries out inspections on private providers to check they are meeting the national standards of quality and safety, and it publishes the findings on its website.

While the CQC can't investigate individual complaints, it does monitor healthcare providers and also protects the interests of people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.

Visit the CQC website