How to complain 

What do you do if you have a complaint, or have concerns about your treatment?

It may take time for the treatment and support to take effect. If you are concerned it is not working, you should talk to your therapists about what other help might be available. If you are still unhappy you can ask for the opinion of another doctor or therapist (a second opinion). If you are refused a second opinion, it is important to discuss this with your therapist. You can ask for the diagnosis or treatment plan to be reviewed.

If you are staying in hospital (an inpatient) you have the right to complain if you are treated badly in any way. You can complain either informally by talking to someone in the hospital or by writing a formal complaint. You have the right to an independent advocate to speak on your behalf.

There is more detailed information and tools for expressing your complaint in the Headspace Toolkit.

ComplainTS ABOUT the NHS 

If you're not happy with the care or treatment you've received or you've been refused treatment for a condition, you have the right to complain, have your complaint investigated, and be given a full and prompt reply.

This applies to any service provided by the NHS, including hospitals, GPs, and local CAMHS and social services.

  • Step 1 - Firstly you need to make the complaint to the actual service, or the commissioner of the service. At the moment the service commissioner is a Primary Care Trust, but in the future it will be your local GP Commissioning Consortium. You will also be able to make a complaint to your local health watch.
  • Each NHS organisation will have their own complaints procedure. This should be on their website. If not contact their complaints department. 
  • Step 2 - If you don’t get any luck by complaining directly, you can take your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. This is a free service, and if they can take up your case, they will try and sort out your complaint. 

Help with your complaint

If your complaint is with the NHS in England, you can contact your Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

PALS makes sure that the NHS listens to patients, their relatives, carers and friends, and deals with their problems as quickly as possible.

Find out more about PALS (please note this only applies to England).

If none of this works

If the above methods haven't helped you, then you can write to your MP. You could also become a YoungMinds Very Important Representative and help us campaign for change at a national and local level.