What is the concern?

We protect the public by investigating nurses and midwives to find out whether they are fit to practise.

Reasons for a referral

We investigate allegations which may include:

  • misconduct
  • lack of competence
  • caution or conviction
  • determination by another body
  • not having the necessary knowledge of English
  • fraudulent and incorrect entry
  • serious ill health.

For details about these definitions, see Stage pages 2-9 in our guidance.

If your complaint isn't included
If your complaint isn't included above, see below for other organisations who can help. They can also offer advice and support if a referral is made.

English language
From 19 January 2016 we can investigate allegations that a nurse or midwife does not have the necessary knowledge of English to practise safely. We have published a leaflet for nurses and midwives and guidance for decision makers explaining how the process works.

Other organisations that can help

Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) CAB provides free, independent and confidential advice on a wide range of problems. 
Healthwatch England Independent consumer champion for health and social care in England. Working with a network of 152 local Healthwatch groups, they make sure that the voices of consumers and those who use services reach the ears of decision makers.
Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Considers complaints that government departments and the NHS in England have not acted properly or fairly or have provided a poor service.
0345 015 4033

Local NHS health board Can help you make a complaint, or signpost you to local advocacy services.
Citizen's Advice Scotland Hosts the Independent Advice and Support Service for NHS patients.
Scottish Public Services Ombudsman Can investigate established complaints if progress is not being made.
0800 377 7330
Scotland Patients Association Provides patients with an opportunity to raise concerns about healthcare.

The Patient and Client Council Offers independent and impartial advice on making a complaint.
0800 917 0222
Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) Provides free, independent and confidential advice on a wide range of problems.
Northern Ireland Ombudsman Can investigate established complaints if progress is not being made.
0800 34 34 24 or 028 9023 3821

Local Community Health Councils Will give independent advice and support throughout the complaint making process.
0845 644 7814 / 02920 235 558
Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) Provides free, independent and confidential advice on a wide range of problems.
Public Services Ombudsman for Wales Can investigate complaints about public services in Wales.
0845 601 9087