Support for patients and families

If we are not the right people to talk to, this list includes other organisations that may be able to help.

Feedback and complaints

NHS England

The NHS England website has lots of information about providing feedback and making a complaint. This includes advice on who to contact when the concern relates to hospitals, GPs, healthcare in prisons and community services. They also have information on advocacy and support services for people making a complaint.

Integrated care boards

Integrated care boards (ICBs) commission most of the hospital and community NHS services in the local areas for which they are responsible. You can raise a complaint with your local ICB. Find contact details for your local ICB on the NHS website.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

PALS teams are present in every hospital. They provide a point of contact for patients, families and carers. They can provide confidential advice, support and information on health-related matters. The NHS website can help you find your local PALS team.

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

CQC are the independent regulator of health and social care in England. You can contact them to provide feedback on care or share concerns about a service.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)

PHSO can make final decisions on complaints that have not been resolved by the NHS in England. They can only do this if you have already complained to the organisation involved in your concern. More information can be found on the PHSO website.

General support and advice

Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA)

AvMA is the UK charity for patient safety and justice. They provide help and support for those affected by medical accidents. This includes a helpline as well as self-help guides.


Healthwatch are an independent body that listen to feedback relating to GPs, hospitals, dentists, pharmacies, care homes and other services. They share this feedback with NHS leaders with the aim of improving care standards.


VoiceAbility offers a free and independent advocacy and user involvement service to support people who face disadvantage or discrimination. They support people to speak up and have their rights and choices respected.

Support after a bereavement

Cruse Bereavement Support

Cruse Bereavement Support offer support, advice and information to children, young people and adults after someone dies. It also works to enhance society’s care of bereaved people.


INQUEST is a small charity that provides free advice to people bereaved by a death in custody and detention and is entirely independent of government. They provide specialist advice on deaths in custody or detention, or involving state failures in England and Wales. This includes a death that has occurred in psychiatric care.

Specialised support

There are a number of charities and support organisations relating to different concerns, conditions and population groups. We cannot provide a list of these organisations due to the diverse and wide-ranging concerns we hear about. Please consider an internet search to identify these specific groups.