I'm concerned my GP and GP surgery is unsafe

If you’re worried that your doctor may be a risk to other patients you should immediately contact the General Medical Council (GMC). We explain who else can help. 

The NHS in your region

The NHS is organised differently in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. For example, the NHS Constitution only applies in England.

Check the most relevant information for where you live:

For England NHS Choices

For Wales NHS Wales

For Scotland NHS Scotland

For Northern Ireland Health NI Direct 

Raising concerns about your GP

The GMC is responsible for ensuring all doctors in the UK are fit to practise.

You should complain to the GMC if your GP does any of the following:

  • makes serious or repeated mistakes when carrying out medical procedures or in diagnosis, such as prescribing drugs in a dangerous way
  • fails to examine a patient properly or to respond reasonably to a patient’s needs
  • does something fraudulent or dishonest
  • seriously breaches a patient’s confidentiality
  • commits any serious criminal offence – If you think that a doctor has committed a criminal offence, you should contact the police as well as the GMC

The GMC cannot look into complaints about treatment decisions, or other healthcare professionals such as nurses, pharmacists, dentists, opticians, hospital or practice managers or administrative staff, or anyone who is not a registered doctor.

Raising concerns about your GP surgery

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is responsible for ensuring all GP practices meet essential standards of care. 

If you’re concerned your local practice is unsafe, or providing poor care you can raise your concerns to the CQC. 

They cannot deal with individual complaints, but they will use feedback to help decide which inspections to prioritise.

The CQC plans to inspect and rate every GP surgery in England, publishing results on the CQC website

Complaining about a private service

If your complaint is about a healthcare service you received which was paid for privately, and not by the NHS, you should initially make the complaint to the healthcare provider. 

Each private healthcare provider should have their own formal complaints procedure. You can request a copy from the healthcare provider.

If you're not happy with their response, you can go to the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service (ISCAS) if your healthcare provider is a member.

The CQC registers both private and NHS health providers. 

If the provider is one that ought to be registered with the CQC, you can raise your concerns with them as you would for an NHS provider.

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