Complaints Policy

The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) is the professional body responsible for the specialty of anaesthesia throughout the UK at all stages of our fellows’ and members’ careers. The RCoA is committed to providing a high quality service to its fellows, members, and users of our services. 

However, we recognise that sometimes things go wrong or mistakes are made and people may consider they have grounds for complaint. The following policy provides a clear and consistent procedure through which the College investigates and responds to complaints.

The complaints policy operates alongside other RCoA procedures for resolving staff grievances & disciplinary matters, responding to appeals from examination candidates and dealing with enquiries/complaints regarding the care provided by a healthcare provider:

  • examination candidates wishing to appeal against an examination result, or raise an incident that occurred during an examination sitting, must follow the Primary and Final FRCA Examinations (Reviews and Appeals) Regulations, which can be found on the RCoA website at -
  • patients and the public - The RCoA is an academic institution and we regret that we cannot give advice to individuals regarding their personal treatment. However, if you feel unhappy with the treatment and care you have received from your hospital and would like to make a complaint, information can be found on the patient information pages of the RCoA website

How to complain
The RCoA takes the view that complaints are an opportunity for us to resolve issues and improve our services and procedures.

Informal complaints
The RCoA hopes that most problems and concerns can be informally resolved swiftly and if possible immediately, by talking with the individual(s) concerned. If this is not possible, for example if the relevant information is not readily available, then we aim to get back to you within five working days.

Formal complaints
If your issue cannot be resolved through this informal process, a formal complaint can be made in writing to or via post to the following address:

The Chief Executive
Royal College of Anaesthetists
Churchill House
35 Red Lion Square

If you send a complaint by post, please ensure that you include contact details to allow the RCoA to respond – the College is unable to respond to anonymous complaints. 

The implementation of any action related to a complaint does not preclude the withdrawal of the complaint at any point.

To ensure that we deal with your complaint promptly, please could you state clearly in your correspondence to the CEO that the RCoA should treat this letter as a complaint.

To ensure that we deal with your concerns promptly we would advise you to label your correspondence clearly as a complaint and include:

  • the nature of the complaint
  • who has been involved so far
  • what has/has not been done to date
  • why you are not satisfied with the outcome
  • how you would like to see the matter resolved or rectified

Note: This policy is about complaints in relation to the College and clinical performance is not within its remit. However, if something is found of material potential harm then the College reserves the right to refer to a medical director, GMC or national regulators if deemed appropriate.


Policy Approved: July 2019
Review Date: July 2021