We exist to enable better and safer care.
We do this is by acting when someone tells us they have a concern about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate that could put the safety of patients at risk or damage the public’s confidence in the nursing or midwifery professions.
As a member of the public or a patient, we'd recommend exploring our support for patients and the public hub.
Here you can find out more about:
- When to raise a concern
- What happens when we receive a concern or complaint
- When we investigate
- How we reach an outcome
- How we support you
- Who to contact and how to compain
- What to expect when attending a hearing
- What to expect after a hearing
- A jargon buster
We only investigate complaints against nurses, midwives and nursing associates.
Our role as a regulator
Our role is to ensure that nurses, midwives or nursing associates are fit to practise, meet our standards and can provide safe and effective care, not penalise past mistakes or behaviour.
We can also take action if a nurse, midwife or nursing associate’s behaviour is serious enough that it could damage the public’s confidence in the professions, even if it isn’t related to their clinical practice.
If you’re thinking of raising a concern about a nurse, midwife or nursing associate about their actions not related to their clinical practice, we've existing guidance which may help you decide if it’s something that we should know about, for example:
Complaining to the nurse, midwife or nursing associate's place of work
In most cases, it’s best to start by complaining to the nurse, midwife or nursing associate’s place of work.
It's likely the employer will be able to deal with your complaint themselves and usually quicker. They can give you a detailed explanation of what happened, or an apology from the nurse, midwife or nursing associate involved. We can't provide you with either of these.
They should also be able to help you decide if we need to be involved. They might choose to involve us themselves. If the employer decides to do this, they can send us all the information from their investigation, which will speed up our process.
Making a referral
When we’ve received your concern, it goes through a formal legal process. The full process can take up to 15 months.
If you do raise a concern, we'll use the information you provide to help us decide if we need to take action. In some cases, we'll decide that no further action is required.
Making an anonymous referral
You can make a referral and be anonymous but you won’t receive updates on the progress of the investigation.
We respect patients’ confidentiality, so at public hearings, we try to keep identities anonymous by not using their name. A patient or their family can request to waive anonymity in the hearing. We want to make attending a hearing as comfortable as possible for all involved.
We usually only need to see copies of the documents that you supply as evidence. But on occasions we might need the originals if the case progresses to an adjudication committee.
We always hold any paperwork securely. When we send information to a nurse, midwife or nursing associate, we warn them that the documents they receive are only to be used in connection with the investigation.
We might need to pursue additional information from others to deal with your concerns.
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.
Other healthcare regulators that can help you
We can only investigate complaints about nurses, midwives or nursing associates.
If you have a concern about another healthcare professional there are other healthcare regulators who can investigate. They can also offer advice and support if a referral is made.
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, dieticians, occupational therapists, operating department practitioners, orthoptists, paramedics, physiotherapists, prosthetists and orthotists, radiographers, speech and language therapists and social care workers, qualified social workers and social work students on approved degree courses in England||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||020 3365 3400|
|Care Quality Commission||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|
|Care Council for Wales||Social care workers, qualified social workers, and social work students on approved degree courses in Wales||0845 070 0399|
|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 (Text phone)
|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|
|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.