How to make a complaint

This section contains information on the separate complaints procedures for the NHS, social services and the Department of Health, as well as for freedom of information requests and the MHRA.

Complaints about the NHS

For information about how to make a complaint about the NHS, for example a hospital or GP practice, go to the complaints section of NHS Choices.

Complaints about local social services

Most social care services are provided by local authorities but there is also now a statutory complaints process for people who arrange their care privately.

Complaints about local authority services: The complaints procedure for local authority adult social services is set out in regulations, which cover both the Local Authority and NHS procedures.  These were introduced in April 2009 and amended for technical reasons with effect from 1 September 2009.

Anyone whose care is arranged or provided by local authorities is able to complain to the local authority if they are dissatisfied with the service they receive.  This includes services such as residential care where the provider is an independent organisation, as long as that care is arranged by the local authority.  If you are still dissatisfied following the local authority’s response, you can take the matter up with the Local Government Ombudsman.

Complaining about privately arranged services: A new complaints scheme for people whose adult social care is not arranged or provided by local authorities came into effect on 1 October 2010.  Full details of the scheme are on the Local Government Ombudsman website.

Complaining about care service providers: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) website sets out how to complain about a care service provider.

Complaints about the Department of Health

To make a complaint about services provided directly by the Department of Health you need to contact the Department’s Complaints Manager.

Go to the Department of Health complaints process for contact details and information about what happens next.

Freedom of Information complaints

If you wish to complain about the Department’s response to a Freedom of Information request, there is a separate FOI complaints procedure.

Complaints about the MHRA

The Department has an executive agency, the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), who have a separate complaints procedure to the Department of Health.To make a complaint about MHRA:

Telephone: 020 7273 0000 (weekdays 9.00am to 5.00pm)
Fax: 020 7273 0353

Write to:
Central Complaints Officer
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
Room 16-107
Market Towers
1 Nine Elms Lane

Go to the MHRA website for further details.

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