Feedback and Complaints
Our factsheet on making a complaint explains the steps you can take if you are unhappy about the maternity care you are personally receiving or did receive. It includes advice about taking your complaint to the Ombudsman, referring a member of staff to a regulator, and about taking legal action.
Local and National Advocacy
If you want to do more to bring about change in maternity services more generally here are some ideas to consider:
Join your local Maternity Voices Partnership
Maternity Voices Partnerships bring together service users, maternity professionals, commissioners, and others with the aim of improving local maternity services.
In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland these bodies are called Maternity Service Liaison Committees (MSLCs).
Your local Healthwatch will also gather themes and feedback about local health services. Some are more active on maternity issues than others. You can find more information on the Healthwatch website. Healthwatch offer a short, online form to complete, to offer feedback on your experiences of NHS and Social Services care.
Write to your local Trust/Board or Clinical Commissioning Group
If there is a particular issue you feel strongly about you could write to the Chief Executive and/or the Director/Head of Midwifery of your local Trust or Board (details should be found on the Trust/Board website or alternatively you can call the Trust/Board).
In England, health services are commissioned by local Clinical Commissioning Groups led by GPs so it can be worth contacting the CCG or copying them into your letter as well. The NHS website holds more information and a postcode finder for finding out which is your local CCG.
Write to your Member of Parliament, Member of Scottish Parliament or Assembly Member
You can also write to your Member of Parliament or Assembly Member.
You should be clear about what action you want your MP, MSP or AM to take. They could raise the issue with your local Trust or Board, or they could raise the issue with the relevant Government Minister by writing directly to them, or by asking a Parliamentary question.
You may also want to send your email to one or more of the following people who hold senior positions in the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Departments of Health:
If you live in England:
- Maria Caulfield MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department of Health and Social Care firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care email@example.com
- NHS England Maternity Transformation team firstname.lastname@example.org
- Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent , Chief Midwifery Officer, NHS England email@example.com
- Your local MP
If you live in Scotland:
- Maree Todd, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport MinisterPHWHS@gov.scot
- The Maternity and Children Quality Improvement Collaborative firstname.lastname@example.org
- Justine Craig,Chief Midwifery Officer, Scottish Government email@example.com
- Your local MSP
If you live in Wales:
- Eluned Morgan MS, Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned.Morgan@assembly.wales
- Wales Maternity and Neonatal Network Contacts firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com
- Karen Jewell, Nursing Officer for Maternity and Early Years, Welsh Government Karen.Jewell@gov.wales
- Your local AM
If you live in Northern Ireland
- Dr Dale Spence, Midwifery Officer, Department of Health, NI Spence@health-ni.gov.uk
- Robin Swann MLA Minister of Health in the Northern Ireland Assembly firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dr Patricia Gillen & Dr Maria Healy (Chairs of the Home Birth Group) email@example.com@qub.ac.uk
Start a petition
Start a petition using one of these platforms:
Make a freedom of information request
You have the right to ask to see recorded information held by certain public authorities.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act (FOISA) give you the right to see information. You can request information from some public authorities, such as government departments and all parts of the NHS including hospitals, Trusts and GP surgeries.
If you cannot make your request in writing because of a disability, contact the particular public authority or NHS Trust. They should help you to make the request another way – for example over the phone.
You can also check the relevant NHS Trust’s website for responses to previous FOI requests. This is sometimes known as a ‘disclosure log’. You can also email or phone the organisation to ask if they’ve already published the information or responded to an FOI request.
What to include
In your FOI request, you should give:
- your name
- a contact postal or email address
- a detailed description of the information you want – for example, you might want all information held on a subject, or just a summary
You can ask for information in a particular format, such as:
- paper or electronic copies of information
- audio format
- large print
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