If you are unhappy with the end of life care you or a loved one have received, you are entitled to make a complaint.  This could be related to care in a hospice, care home, hospital or any other setting where you or your loved one has received end of life care.

This page takes around 3 minutes to read.

When to make a complaint


If you have concerns about the care you or a loved one has received, you can discuss these with a member of staff. They should address your concerns or direct you to somebody who can help.

If you’re not happy with how they responded, you have the right to complain, and your complaint should be dealt with.

Making a complaint should not affect the care you or your loved one receive in any way, and anything you say must be kept confidential and separate from clinical records.

How to make a complaint


1. Ask for a complaints procedure

To make a complaint it is usually best to complain directly to the organisation you have been dealing with in the first instance. Most organisations have a procedure that explains how you can make a complaint, ask a member of staff about this.

Complaints about an NHS service

The NHS site has more detailed information about how to complain about an NHS service:

If you want to make a complaint about a specific member of NHS staff, visit the General Medical Council’s (GMC) website for advice on how to do this:

2. Raise your complaint

After you’ve raised your complaint the organisation has a duty to try to address it. If you are not satisfied with the response, you can take further action.

3. Escalating your complaint for NHS services

First you can go back to the provider to say you are not happy with their response and see if they address this. If you are still not happy with the outcome, you can escalate your complaint further.

For NHS services

4. Escalating your complaint for non-NHS services

5. If your complaint has not been addressed

If your complaint is still not resolved, contact the Local Government Ombudsman:

General advice

  • Citizens Advice can point you in the right direction if you want to make a complaint about end of life care
  • There is lots of general information about your rights and the law on the government's website
Your guide to hospice care and end of life care (image: two hospice nurses working in a hospice)
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