You may be the first to realise that there may be something seriously wrong regarding a service provided by or on behalf of the Department and have a genuine concern. The concern may not affect you or a close relative directly but it would be in the public interest to have it investigated.

This could for example, be concerns around: 

  • Patient Safety
  • Health and Safety
  • Environmental Damage
  • Criminal Offences including fraud
  • Procedural Issues

The Department would encourage you to raise your concern directly with the appropriate Health and Social Care (HSC) body or the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS), as they are best placed to resolve issues in a timely manner.

However, we realise that there may be situations when you feel that the concern should be considered from the outset by the Department, if that is the case you can write to us at the following address: 

Complaints Officer
Corporate Management Directorate
Department of Health
Annexe 3
Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
BT4 3SQ 

Or email us at

The Department will take all concerns seriously.  You should include as much detail as possible including the reason for your concern, what you personally have witnessed, why you think the Department should investigate e.g. already raised with the HSC body or NIFRS and nothing appears to have happened. 

You may raise a concern anonymously; however, doing so may impede an investigation as there is no one to contact should we need to seek clarification.    

Action Taken by the Department

On receipt of a concern the Department will: -

Consider whether the appropriate HSC body or NIFRS is best placed to investigate and respond (you will be advised by the Department if this is the case, before it is passed on);

If it is clear that the Department should lead the investigation it will be passed to the relevant policy Director to take forward;

Contact you if we require further information;

Protect your confidentiality, as far as possible;

Advise you on how your concern will be handled;

Advise you of the outcome of the investigation.   As each investigation will be different it is not possible to specify a timeframe for completion;

Process your information in accordance with the Data Protection Act and from 25 May 2018 in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations.  The information you provide may be shared with a relevant HSC body, NIFRS or other health care provider for the purpose of completing the investigation into your concern.



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