Raise a concern
Anyone can raise a concern if they feel the safety of patients or the public is at risk.
Strike action involving registered nursing and midwifery professionals will be taking place in March at some workplaces. We published a statement which makes clear we will not take fitness to practise action against someone solely on the basis that they are taking part in lawful industrial action. Read the full statement.
We can only investigate complaints about nurses, midwives or nursing associates.
If you have a complaint about another healthcare professional or healthcare service, other regulators will be able to help.
Who they regulate
|General Medical Council (GMC)||Doctors||0845 357 8001|
|General Dental Council (GDC)||Dentists, dental therapists, dental hygienists, dental nurses, dental technicians, clinical dental technicians and orthodontic therapists||020 7887 3800|
|Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)||Arts therapists, biomedical scientists, chiropodists, podiatrists, clinical scientists, dietitians, hearing aid dispensers, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, prosthetists and orthotists, radiographers and speech and language therapists||020 7582 0866|
|General Optical Council (GOC)||Opticians||020 7580 3898|
|General Chiropractic Council (GCC)||Chiropractors||020 7713 5155|
|General Osteopathic Council (GOsC)||Osteopaths||020 7357 6655|
|General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC)||Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians (on the voluntary register) and pharmacy premises in Great Britain||020 3365 3400|
|Care Quality Commission (CQC)||Health and adult social care services in England||03000 616161|
|Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)||Makes final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England||0345 015 4033|
|Social Care Wales||Social care workers, qualified social workers, and social work students on approved degree courses in Wales||0845 070 0399|
|Healthcare Inspectorate Wales||NHS services and independent healthcare services throughout Wales||0300 062 8163|
|Care Inspectorate Wales||Social care and childcare in Wales||0300 7900 126|
|Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC)||Social care workers, qualified social workers, and social work students on approved degree courses in Northern Ireland||02890 417600
02890 239340 (Ffôn testun)
|Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI)||Pharmacists and pharmacy premises in Northern Ireland||02890 326927|
|Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)||Social care workers, qualified social workers, and social work students on approved degree courses in Scotland||0845 603 0891|
|Healthcare Improvement Scotland||Independent hospitals and clinics in Scotland||0141 225 6999|
|Care Inspectorate (Scotland)||Care services in Scotland||0345 600 9527|
|Social Work England||Social workers in England||0808 196 2274|
|The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority||Health and social care in Northern Ireland||028 9536 1111|
|Healthcare assistants (HCAs) are not currently regulated in the UK. If a patient or member of the public has a complaint about a healthcare assistant, they should raise their concerns with the organisation that the healthcare assistant works for.
Fitness to practise
We want to make sure every nurse, midwife and nursing associate can provide better and safer care.
One of the ways we do this is by acting when someone tells us they have a concern about someone on our register. When we consider a concern, it goes through a formal legal process which can take up to 15 months.
Below is some important information about our fitness to practise process, which you should read before making a referral:
We can consider concerns that are serious enough to raise doubts about whether the nurse, midwife or nursing associate should be allowed to continue to practise as a registered professional, either with some form of restriction on their practice, or at all.
Examples of allegations that we can investigate include:
- abuse of professional position, for example an improper sexual relationship with a patient or service user, discrimination against patients and colleagues
- serious or repeated mistakes in patient care
- serious criminal offences
- dishonesty or fraud
- serious breaches of patient confidentiality
- serious concerns about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate’s knowledge of the English language.
When we investigate, we consider:
- whether the concerns are serious enough to raise concern about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate’s fitness to practise
- whether we can get evidence
- whether the nurse, midwife or nursing associate has addressed the concerns.
Why we might not investigate
If a concern doesn't suggest that their practice should be restricted, we will not investigate. We understand that sometimes people can make mistakes.
Making a mistake doesn’t necessarily mean a they should be stopped from working. When we look at a concern we consider whether it was a one-off event, how serious it was, how much they have reflected on what happened and what they have done since to learn from the mistake.
- make a nurse, midwife or nursing associate apologise to you
- investigate general concerns about the nurse, midwife or nursing associate’s place of work.
If you think there is a risk that the nurse, midwife or nursing associate may pose to patients and the public, you should make us aware immediately.
Please make sure you provide us with as much accurate information as possible. We'll use this information you provide to help us decide whether to take action against the nurse, midwife or nursing associate. In some cases, we'll decide that no further action is required.
In some serious cases, it may be necessary for us to act quickly to stop them from working or restrict their practice.
Even if the risk is not immediate, please raise your concern as soon as possible with the nurse, midwife or nursing associate’s employer if applicable. There is no time limit, but the longer ago an incident took place, the more difficult it is to investigate.
We're committed to making sure that our fitness to practise processes are accessible for everyone.
If you need help to bring your concerns to our attention, would like our information in another format, or need us to make an adjustment because of disability or injury, please get in touch with us.
Sharing your referral
In order to properly investigate your concern, on some occasions we’ll need to disclose some of the details you’ve shared.
We often need to share share the details of the concern with the nurse, midwife or nursing associate and their employer, as we need to collect evidence that will help with any investigation.
We understand that if you’re thinking about raising a concern with us, you have been and perhaps still are going through a difficult time.
Our new referrals helpline exists as an important first step if you’re considering raising a concern with us about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate. We can help explain more about who we are, whether we're the right place to come, how we can help you and most importantly, what support we can offer you.
By getting in touch with us, we can help you understand how to refer a nurse, midwife or nursing associate. Then, if you make a referral, we can better understand exactly what your concern is about and investigate it appropriately.
Call us on 020 3307 6802. Some calls will be recorded to help us train colleagues and monitor the quality of support we provide. We might use the recording to check details about fitness to practise referrals and complaints. There’s more information in our privacy notice.