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The Health and Social Care Board commissions services from a range of health and social care organisations such as the Health and Social Care (HSC) Trusts.

Our aim, is to improve the health and well-being of people in Northern Ireland. In most instances we succeed, but sometimes things can go wrong.

Find out how to make a complaint against the Health and Social Care service on nidirect

Complaints about the Health and Social Care Board

If you have a complaint concerning a Family Practitioner Service or about the work of the Board (for example, if you have been personally affected by a commissioning decision of the Board concerning the funding of a particular service or by the lack of a particular service), please contact the Board’s Complaint’s Officers for advice and assistance.

For further information view the How to make a complaint leaflet.


The Coronavirus pandemic has unfortunately affected the handling of complaints within health and social care, both ongoing complaints and new complaints.

It is likely that the timescales for responding within the HSC Complaints Procedure (April 2019) will not be met and patience and understanding is requested at this unprecedented time. Complaints received that relate solely to actions that have been taken as a consequence of the pandemic will not be investigated within the remit of the HSC Complaints Procedure. You will appreciate that decisions and actions have had to be taken in relation to the delivery of Health and Social Care Services during extra ordinary circumstances. This does not mean that the concerns will be ignored and a response not issued. The Board has liaised and agreed this process with colleagues within HSC Trusts and Family Practices. Complaints will be screened on receipt and the format of response agreed and explained.

If you have any queries speak to the Board’s Complaints Department (9536 3893); the complaints department in the respective HSC Trust you are wishing to complain about; or the Practice Manager or designated complaints officer in the family practice you are wishing to complain about.

Reports and Publications

HSCB Annual Complaints Report 2021-2022
Title and link to downloadDescriptionDate
Annual Complaints Report 2019-20208th March 2021
HSCB Policy For The Management Of Complaints - November 2020 (FINAL)7th January 2021
Complaints Information Flyer - FPS (3)21st November 2019
Annual Complaints Report 2018 - 20192nd October 2019
Annual Complaints Report 2017-201813th February 2019
Annual Complaints Report 2016-201723rd October 2017
Annual Complaints Report 2015-201612th October 2016
Complaints in theHSC Evaluation Report Action Plan8th July 2016
How To Make A Complaint 201623rd April 2016
Annual Complaints Report 2010-20115th April 2016
Annual Complaints Report 2009-20105th April 2016
Annual Complaints Report 2014-20155th April 2016
Annual Complaints Report 2013-20145th April 2016
Annual Complaints Report 2012-20135th April 2016
Annual Complaints Report 2011-20125th April 2016

Review of complaints in Health and Social Care

In June 2010, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) asked the Health and Social Care Board (the Board) to evaluate the Complaints Guidance.

The Board was asked to establish if the new complaints handling arrangements had been fully implemented and to identify any strengths and weaknesses within the new arrangements.

The Board review acknowledged that significant progress has been made to implement the principles within the guidance, and it outlined 14 recommendations to further enhance its effectiveness.

An action plan has been developed outlining how each of these recommendations will be taken forward.

Further Information

Complaints in Health and Social Care: Standards and Guidelines for Resolution and Learning is available to view or download from the Department’s website www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/hsc-complaints-standards-guidelines-resolution-learning.pdf 

If you require any of the Complaints Documentation in an alternative format (including: Braille, Audio Formats, Large Print, or minority languages to meet the needs of those for whom English is not their first language) please contact the Complaints Department, Telephone: (028) 9536 3893, email: complaints@hscb.hscni.net

Complaints e-Learning for Family Practitioner Service

This is a Complaints e-Learning Package, for Family Practitioner Service professionals,  it provides general training, awareness and guidance, and details the role and responsibility of the Health and Social Care Board, (the Board), in relation to complaints.