The NHS complaints procedure
There is an NHS complaints procedure to help you resolve your individual complaint, which we have no role in. While we use information from complaints in a number of ways in our regulatory work, our duties as a regulator do not include resolving individual complaints for patients.
To resolve your individual complaint about services provided by an NHS organisation, you should complain:
How we can help you pursue your complaint
If you contact Monitor with a complaint about a healthcare provider or commissioner, within 10 working days we will get back in touch with you to:
- tell you where to direct your complaint to get it resolved
- give you a point of contact at the organisation you are complaining about, if we can
- tell you about other help you can get to make your complaint
Find out more on
Video: How to make a complaint about an NHS healthcare service
How to make a complaint about an NHS healthcare service
How we will use information from your complaint
We listen to all the complaints we receive about NHS healthcare and record the information you give us. Within 10 working days, we will let you know how we plan to use that information as part of our work as a regulator.
There are 3 key areas where we can use the information you share with us:
Governance of foundation trusts
Every NHS foundation trust has a licence to operate which requires them to be well run by their board of directors. So if you make a complaint to us about an NHS foundation trust we will consider whether it could signal underlying problems with how the trust is run.
For more information see
Integrated care in the NHS
The integrated care licence condition is designed to prevent NHS providers from standing in the way of care being delivered in an integrated way.
You can contact Monitor to raise your concerns if you think that a licensed healthcare provider may have breached or is going to breach the integrated care condition of the NHS provider licence. Our role is not to resolve concerns about an individual’s care package, for example, but to look at the more general behaviour of the provider.
For more detailed information see our guidance.
Procurement, patient choice or competition in the NHS
Part of Monitor’s role is to make sure that procurement, patient choice and competition operate in the best interests of patients and to step in if anti-competitive behaviour by NHS commissioners or providers goes against patients’ interests. You can find more information about this here.
If you have a query about NHS procurement, patient choice or competition, Monitor is happy to speak to you informally or formally. Please call to discuss your situation and available options.
Examples of advice we have given recently are:
- a patient contacted us because he did not feel he was being treated quickly enough, and we were able to advise him of the choices available to him to access quicker treatment
- a commissioner contacted us to discuss their plans for a prime contractor and we advised them how the rules applied to those plans
- a provider contacted us with concerns about a commissioner’s conduct and we advised them about the rules relating to conflicts of interests
Blow the whistle
If you work in the NHS or any organisation relevant to Monitor’s role and have serious concerns that you can’t raise within your organisation, you can contact Monitor as a whistleblower.
For example, you may have information about your employer committing a crime or putting someone’s safety at risk.
Similar to complaints, we will consider whether the concerns you are raising impact on the governance of a foundation trust, integrated care or procurement, patient choice and competition in the NHS.
Before contacting us, you should read our whistleblowing policy.
If you write to us as a whistleblower, we’ll contact you to confirm we’ve received your information within 5 working days.
Complain about Monitor
If you’re not satisfied with any aspect of our service, let us know so we can resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
You can complain if you feel we have:
- treated you unfairly
- provided poor service
- acted incorrectly
- taken too long to take action
- failed to take action
- not provided information
What happens next
After receiving a complaint, we will:
- acknowledge receipt within 2 working days
- telephone you where possible to confirm our understanding of your complaint and explain what will happen next
- investigate your complaint, which may include gathering documents and interviewing members of staff
- write to you with a provisional decision or further response within 20 working days of receipt
If you’re not satisfied with our response to your complaint, contact your MP to refer the complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
You can contact our enquiries, complaints and whistleblowing team.
Telephone: 020 3747 0000
Enquiries, complaints and whistleblowing team
133-155 Waterloo Road