Last updated:

Complaints process

We aim to deliver the highest standard

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

We are committed to providing an excellent level of service. If our performance does not meet your expectations we would welcome your feedback on this and review how we might have done things differently, and how we can use your feedback to improve the quality of our services.

In the unlikely event that you are unhappy with the BMA or the service you have received this is our complaints process.

The process outlined below aims to be fair to those making complaints and those complained about.



  • We value and encourage feedback on services provided by the BMA.
  • All instances of dissatisfaction are taken seriously.
  • 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 complaint 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 a complaint is upheld, 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.

We would ask that in the first instance you try to resolve any unhappiness directly with the person who dealt with your matter, or alternatively you can email the BMA director of member relations ([email protected]) in confidence. If that fails then the following more formal approach, is designed to try to address the concerns you have.

Please note the above email address is for doctors who have had advice from the BMA, patients can find contact information here.

How to make a complaint

Complaints should be made in writing and sent to [email protected]

On receipt all formal complaints will be acknowledged and allocated to the appropriate person for action.

If your complaint is related to employment advice it will be investigated in the first instance by the relevant manager. Complaints out with of employment advice will be sent to and investigated by the BMA corporate development team ([email protected]).


The complaints process

Step one

Members should normally expect to receive a reply from the investigating manager within 10 working days from the acknowledgment date of the complaint.

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.


Step two (appeal)

If you remain unhappy the matter will be referred to a director from a different area of the BMA for further review and investigation. This director 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, you will be advised of the delay and given the expected date of reply. 

If the director decides that no further action is necessary, they will write to you accordingly explaining the reasons for the decision. This completes the complaints process and no further internal recourse is available.

If you are still unhappy following the outcome of how we handled your concerns, alternative bodies exist, such as ProMediate which can deal with any concerns raised should we (and you) decide to use such a scheme.


Stage three

If you remain unhappy following the outcome of step two, your complaint will be forwarded to the BMA corporate development team for final assessment in conjunction with the BMA chief executive officer and chief officers. This completes the BMA complaints process.

If you remain unhappy, alternative bodies exist, such as ProMediate  who can deal with any concerns raised should we (and you) decide to use such a scheme.


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 as set out in our Dignity at work policy.



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