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Complaints procedure

We aim to deliver the highest standard

The BMA aims to deliver to you the highest standards of care and service in everything it does. We continually look at ways we can improve what we do for you, by learning from your feedback.

We are committed to providing our members with an excellent level of service.  If for whatever reason our performance does not meet your expectations we would welcome your feedback on this. We will want to consider how we might have done things differently, and how we can generally improve the quality of our services.

We thrive on the confidence of our members. This page invites you to give us your feedback and opinions, or in the unfortunate event that we do not provide a satisfactory service to you, explains the dispute procedure for members. Our objective is to ensure that such instances can be looked into in a timely and consistent manner and, where possible, resolved in a mutually satisfactory way.

We also hope you will let us know when you have been happy with the service we have provided. We set high standards for member services and your feedback will help us to maintain those standards.

This policy is reviewed annually.



  • We value and encourage feedback from you on services provided by us.
  • All instances of dissatisfaction are taken seriously.
  • Expressions of dissatisfaction from members will be referred to the manager in charge of the department or area concerned ("the manager designated to respond") for appropriate action.
  • All dissatisfaction will be appropriately looked into with the minimum of delay. In rare instances, where it is taking longer than expected to investigate, you will be advised of the delay.
  • You will receive a detailed response to your dissatisfaction setting out, as a minimum, what has been found by any investigation, any changes made in the light of the lessons learned from the dissatisfaction and any other action proposed. Any specific action relating to any members of staff, however, will not be discussed, except in wholly exceptional circumstances.
  • Where dissatisfaction is found to be valid, it will be acknowledged, and a full apology will be offered. The BMA will act decisively to do all that it can to put matters right and/or prevent repetition in the future.


Policy for handling dissatisfaction

Our main priority is to ensure that we reach an amicable resolution with you in a collaborative and timely manner.

We would ask that in the first instance you try to resolve any unhappiness directly with the person who dealt with your matter. If that fails to satisfy you then the following more formal approach is designed to try to address the concerns you have. Our procedure has two stages.


The procedure

Step one

All written instances of dissatisfaction will be passed, on receipt, to the manager designated to respond to the dissatisfaction. This manager will on the day of receipt acknowledge the dissatisfaction, in writing or by email. 

In doing so they will set out the way in which the dissatisfaction will be investigated, by whom and within what timescale. Members should normally expect to receive a reply within 10 working days from the acknowledgment date of the dissatisfaction.

Exceptionally, some issues are more complex and therefore may require longer to investigate. If this is the case, you will receive a response describing what is being done, and when a full reply can be expected and from whom.

The manager designated to respond to your dissatisfaction will be responsible for ensuring that you are kept informed at all stages. They will ensure that all matters arising from looking into the dissatisfaction are addressed and that all appropriate follow-up action is taken in a timely way.

Oral expressions of dissatisfaction will be progressed in the same way as written dissatisfaction unless they can be resolved easily and quickly directly with you. 

Even if an oral dissatisfaction is easily resolved, a report will always be made to the relevant manager, detailing any recommendations. The manager concerned will review the position, determine any follow-up action required and will be responsible for ensuring that it is carried out.


Step two

If, despite the above, you still remain dissatisfied the matter will be referred to a senior manager who will decide on the appropriate action to be taken. This senior manager will be responsible for ensuring that your complaint is progressed efficiently and that you are kept fully informed of the position.

Normally a reply will be made within 10 working days of the date you indicated your continued dissatisfaction. If the matter is going to take longer than you expected, you will be advised of the delay and given the expected date of reply. 

If this senior manager decides that no further action is necessary, they will write to you accordingly explaining the reasons for the decision. Their decision is the end of the procedure.


Working together

As stated in the MyBMA booklet ‘A guide to membership benefits’, the BMA has a duty under health and safety at work law to ensure the wellbeing of its staff, including protecting them from harassment and bullying. While we fully understand the unhappiness dissatisfaction may cause, BMA staff are there to help and therefore should be treated courteously at all times.



If there are any questions of interpretation they should be addressed to the BMA chief executive/secretary.