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Often people are worried about commenting about their care, particularly if they have not had a good experience or if they are still having care. However, in the current health care system, there is an increasing emphasis on seeking the views of people using healthcare services and involving them in developing and improving services. Sometimes, relatively small changes in how professionals approach you or your treatment with PGP can really make a significant difference to how you feel in their care and the progress you make.

You will often be asked to fill out questionnaires – do tell them what you think. If it is good, tell them what you would like more of, and if you have a suggestion about how things could be done differently or better, share your idea.

If you have a specific concern about your care, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You could approach:

You could write a letter to:

  • the Head of Midwifery
  • the Chief Executive of the hospital.

You can also include one of our ‘Stickmum’ leaflets to spread good practice on PGP even when the feedback you are giving to a healthcare professional is positive. 

Seeking help about whether and how to complain

There are various organisations that can help you decide whether to complain, for example, about poor care or professional misconduct. If you want a formal outcome (and perhaps compensation), you may wish to take legal advice.

Talking it through with an experienced support organisation can help you to:

  • identify exactly which points to include in a letter
  • think about whether the treatment you received was inappropriate or unreasonable
  • make a comment about your care – praising things that went well and offering constructive comment on what could improve

Writing a letter of complaint

Try to:

  • keep the letter short, factual and to the point
  • list key dates, facts and information in chronological order
  • provide evidence or supporting documents to back up what you say
  • give names and contact details for any witnesses who can back you up
  • keep the letter impersonal, clear and polite
  • state the outcome you want, e.g. an apology, a particular course of action such as a referral, or a change in approach or set routine

Much will depend on the particular issues of your complaint

If you are taking up a complaint on behalf of someone else, you may need to show you have written permission from them (or you explain why this is not possible, e.g. they aren’t well enough).

Help with discussing and progressing a complaint

Contacting the hospital where you received care

You can write to the Head of Midwifery or the Head of Therapy Services. Copy in, or write directly to, the Chief Executive Officer of the Trust. You will find the details on the Trust’s website.

Senior people are always keen to hear how their organisation is caring for people using their services, and tend to be approachable and interested, so do let them know what you think, whether good or bad.

Contacting the NHS or NHS England direct

You can give feedback (written or verbal) to your local hospital’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). PALS offers confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters. You can find your nearest PALS office on the NHS Choices website link.

Contacting NHS England

Contact the Customer Contact Centre.

Telephone: 0300 311 22 33

Email: [email protected]

Post: NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT

For all patient experience enquiries please contact: [email protected]

Healthwatch England

Healthwatch identifies common problems with health and social care based on people’s experiences and also recommends changes to benefit people using health services. It also holds those services and decision-makers to account. Your local Healthwatch is based on your local authority. Click here to find your local Healthwatch.  Healthwatch England has been working with Citizens Advice to provide practical help you can use to make a complaint, including flowcharts, helpful tips and checklists.

Have a look at the Healthwatch website and also Citizens Advice via

Organisations that can help you complain to the NHS

Check which organisation covers your particular area. Some of the organisations have helpful information about how to make a complaint on their websites, which anyone can access regardless of where they live.

Voiceability: NHS Complaints Advocacy Service – Birmingham, Cambridgeshire, London, Northampton, Peterborough, Suffolk

Tel: 0300 330 5454

Textphone: 0786 002 2939

Email: [email protected]


Carers Federation: Greater Manchester NHS Independent Complaints Advocacy – North East England

Tel: 0808 801 0390

Email: [email protected]


Cloverleaf Advocacy NHS Complaints Advocacy Service – North Yorkshire

Tel: 0300 012 4212

Email: [email protected]


POhWER: NHS Complaints Advocacy – Central and East of England, East Midlands, London, Southern England, South West England, West Midlands

Tel: 0300 456 2370

Email: [email protected]


SEAP: Southern England Independent Health Complaints Advocacy

Tel: 0300 440 9000

Email: [email protected]


SWAN Advocacy Network: Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy Service – Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset

Tel: 0333 344 7926

Email: [email protected]


The Care Forum (Well Aware): NHS Complaints Advocacy – Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Swindon, South West

Tel: 0808 808 5252

Email: [email protected]


Maternity Voices Partnerships

More and more NHS Trusts are embedding the views of women and birthing people in their continuous improvement processes in maternity and neonatal care, using the Maternity Voices Partnership model. 

These organisations work on a partnership model, bringing together service users and healthcare practitioners to discuss ways that care can be improved in the maternity and neonatal sectors. 

If you want to participate in this process please contact your local Maternity Voices Partnership. You can connect with your local branch here:

your local Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP)

Keep up to date with our progress and news

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