As with any complaint, first you must complain to the service provider whose action or decision has affected you. If the provider has a complaints or appeals system in place, you should use it. If you haven’t already complained to the service provider you might find our guide on how to complain to a service provider helpful.

The Ombudsman and health complaints

The Ombudsman can examine complaints about the Health Service Executive (HSE), the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA) and agencies delivering health and personal social services on behalf of the HSE. These agencies can include charitable organisations and voluntary bodies. Public nursing homes, run by the HSE, also come within the Ombudsman's remit.

For more information, please read our page on the Ombudsman and the Health Service Executive.

Complaints options for private patients

This generally means that you paid for the health or social care service yourself, probably through your health insurance. In this case the HSE was not involved in your care. Instead, you effectively had a contract directly with the service provider, for example, with the GP, private hospital or private nursing home.

Sometimes private patients are treated in public (HSE or voluntary) hospitals.

When taking a complaint as a private patient, you can complain directly to the service provider or contact a regulator. You generally do not have the option of complaining to the HSE or to the Ombudsman or the Ombudsman for Children.

List of organisations

You may find this list of websites useful when making a complaint.