Making a complaint is one way that helps organisations to learn lessons from their mistakes and to prevent them from happening to anyone else.

How can I make a complaint?

You can make a complaint in writing, by email, over the telephone or in person. Your complaint should be made as soon as possible. This should be within a year of the event. You can make a complaint on your own or on behalf of someone else if you have their permission.

Who should I contact with my complaint?

Doctor (GP), dentist, pharmacist or optometrist

Hospitals, Mental Health, Community and other services

All services providing NHS care will have a complaints process in line with the NHS complaints process. If you have a complaint about a hospital, mental health, community or other NHS service, you should direct this to the organisations directly. Should you wish for us to be aware of your complaint please send a copy of your complaint to us (contact details below), however the responsibility for investigating the issues remains with the service complained about. Our local providers have details on how to make a complaint at:

NHS services commissioned for the people of City and Hackney

If you have a complaint relating to the way an NHS service has been commissioned, or you have been directly affected by a commissioning decision made by us, please contact the North and East London Commissioning Support Unit (NEL CSU) Patient Experience and Effectiveness Team, which is an NHS organisation who manage the complaints process on our behalf. They can be contacted on 020 3688 1624 or email:

NEL CSU will retain personal information for the purpose of this complaint investigation only. In order for us to make improvements to the services you receive, anonymous information about your complaint may be shared as part of our reporting process. Should you have any concerns with regard to this arrangement please contact us on

Information on how to make a complaint can be made available in other languages, on audio cassette or CD, in large print, Braille and in illustrated format. Interpreters can also be arranged, including sign interpreters.

Can I get help and support with making my complaint?

Yes. An organisation called POhWER can provide you with support and advocacy. You can visit the website or you can contact POhWER via one of the methods below. The support centre is open from Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm.

Telephone: 0300 456 2370 
Minicom: 0300 456 2364
Text: send the word ’pohwer’ with your name and number to 81025
Skype: pohwer.advocacy
Fax: 0300 456 2365
Post: PO Box 14043, Birmingham, B6 9BL​

What will happen once I make my complaint?

Complaints will be dealt with in a manner that is proportional to the issues raised. Your complaint will be investigated and the NHS organisation responsible will aim to resolve the concerns and, where needed, will take action to prevent the incident from happening again.

Will my complaint remain confidential?

Your right to confidentiality will be respected throughout the investigation. However, there may be times when we need to share information without your consent, for example to protect children and vulnerable adults.

What if I am still not satisfied?

If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint you should contact the service directly to see if they can look into the case further. You also have the right to take your complaint to the Health Service Ombudsman. There are time limits for taking a complaint to the Ombudsman, although the Ombudsman can waive them if it is perceived that there is good reason to do so. You can contact their helpline on 0345 015 4033 or

Further information is also available at You can write to the Ombudsman at: The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP.