Complaints about the NHS or social services

This page is about making a complaint about the NHS or social services. It explains how you can make a complaint and what support you can get.


  • You have to make your complaint within 12 months of the problem. Sometimes you can complain later than this.
  • A complaints advocacy service might be able to help with your complaint.
  • The NHS or social services will let you know when they get your complaint. They should do this within 3 days.
  • Once the service has looked into your complaint, they will give you a full response.
  • If you are unhappy with the response, you can take your complaint to an independent service. This is called the ‘Ombudsman’ service (pronounced 'om-buds-mun'). They will look into things further.


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