Knowing how to make a complaint

Making a complaint can be a daunting task, so knowing who you can complain to and what to do is essential. 

We can help you. We've worked with Healthwatch England to produce straightforward advice will guide you through the process from knowing who to talk to, top tips on what to do and what you can expect from services in response. 

Read our complaints advice

GPs, dentists and pharmacies

Each GP practice and dental surgery will have its own complaints procedure which should be available on its website or on request. For GP practices, in the first instance you should contact the practice manager.

Are you looking for an NHS dentist in Bradford district?

You can also complain to NHS England about GPs, dentists and pharmacies

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

0300 311 22 33

If you are making a complaint, state: ‘For the attention of the complaints team’ in the subject line.

You can also ask for support in making a complaint about NHS services from the Independent Complaints Advocacy Team for Bradford district (more details below).


Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust

The trust provides mental health, community and learning disability services in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven.

The Patient Advice and Complaints Department offers patients, carers and relatives the chance to raise a concern, comment or make a complaint, have it considered and receive a response.

Patient Advice and Complaints leaflet - detailed advice on how to complain

01274 251440


Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The trust runs Bradford Royal Infirmary, which provides the majority of inpatient services, and St Luke’s Hospital, which predominantly provides outpatient and rehabilitation services. It also manage local community hospitals at EccleshillWestwood ParkWestbourne Green, and Shipley.

The trust has a Patient Experience team. If you are an inpatient or currently in  hospital, you should ask to speak with the ward/service manager. If they are not able to resolve your concerns or you were not able to speak with them you can contact the Patient Experience team:

01274 364810 (Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm)

If you are unsure that you wish to make a formal complaint, contact the Patient Experience team on the details above for advice and assistance.

Details about making a formal complaint to Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are available here (scroll down).


Airedale NHS Foundation Trust

The trust provides services from its main hospital site, Airedale Hospital, and at other locations across the community – such as Castleberg Hospital near Settle, Coronation Hospital in Ilkley and Skipton Hospital.

It has a Patient Experience team to listen to feedback and stories from anyone who accesses services provided by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust. It also has a Patient Advice and Complaints Service who will aim to resolve your problem and share your comments with the appropriate teams so staff can learn from your experience and improve services for future patients.

If you feel you need help with raising your concerns or complaints and wish to speak to someone, contact the Patient Advice and Complaints Service:

01535 294019 (Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm)

Complaints advocacy (support with complaints about NHS services)

Every area of England has an independent NHS complaints advocacy service funded by the local authority. They can help you make a complaint about an NHS service or work out what you want to achieve from a complaint. 

In Bradford, the Independent Complaints Advocacy Team services is provided by Vital.

Completely independent from the NHS, the service is funded by the local authority. It is a citizen's statutory right to have advocacy support in making NHS complaints. The service is free and confidential and works under your instruction only.

Click here for more information

01274 770118 



The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman makes final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England.

What to do before you contact the Ombudsman


Private health care

If you want to complain about private health care you have received, you won't be able to use the NHS complaints system, unless the NHS commissioned the private service on your behalf and are paying for it (in this case, you can follow the steps above relating to NHS services).

If you have a complaint about the private health care you are receiving, you should ask for the complaints procedure of the private provider. Private hospitals, care homes and other private health care providers will all have their own complaints procedure and policy.

Social care

You can make a complaint to Bradford Council about adult social care or children's social care. 

Complaints Unit: 01274 436820 

FREEPOST BRADFORD COUNCIL (write "Complaints Unit" on the back of the envelope)

What to do if you have a problem with Social Care Services if you are a child or young person


The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) is an independent person appointed by Parliament who investigates complaints against Councils and other organisations. In most cases they would only considerate investigating complaints that have previously been looked into through the council complaints procedure.

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint after exhausting the Complaints Procedures or think that the complaint has not been dealt with properly then you can contact:

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, PO Box 4771, Coventry CV4 0EH

0300 061 0614 


Private social care

If you are receiving private social care, this usually means you are receiving your care in one of these two ways:

  • You have arranged for your own care yourself and you pay for it yourself.
  • You have arranged for your own care yourself and you receive a direct payment to pay for it from the local authority.

If you have a complaint about the care you are receiving in these situations, you can ask for the complaints procedure of the private provider. The procedure and policy will tell you how to make a complaint.

Private care homes and other private social care providers will all have their own complaints procedure and policy. There is no one process for each private provider, so you will need to find out the specific complaints procedure of your provider and follow it.