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Campaigns | Public Services

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New research on public service complaints

Just one third of people who are unhappy after using a public service actually make a complaint. The figures, released by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, back Which?'s findings that millions who found a problem with a public service stayed silent.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

'We know that often people don't complain about public services because they don't think anything will be done, but it's important that people are able to speak up to help prevent the same thing happening again.

'We’re pleased the government listened to our calls to introduce a single public services ombudsman and it must now carefully consider how to make this new body work best for all users of public services, and remove the barriers to complaining.'

Our research found that 5.3 million people who had a problem with a public service didn’t go on to complain. Of those who did not complain 35% said it was because they felt nothing would be done about the problem and 35% felt it would not be worth the effort. One in five didn’t know who to complain to.

Read the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman's report, What do people think of complaining?


Government announces single Public Services Ombudsman

Today our campaign to Make Complaints Count reached a significant milestone when the Queen announced the Government’s intention to introduce a Public Services Ombudsman.

We launch the Which? Birth Choice website

Our new website helps expectant mothers decide what type of birth they would like and explore local options.


Cost of care in the home is a postcode lottery

With an increasing demand for care services, a Which? investigation finds that over the last five years some local authorities have been restricting home care and increasing costs above inflation, leading to a widening postcode lottery in care costs.

Using Freedom of Information requests over the last five years, we asked councils in England and Wales what level of home care they provided each year from 2009 to 2013.

Our latest results show that more than 80% of councils now restrict care to those whose needs are ‘critical’ or ‘substantial’, up from just over 70% in 2009. Of the 26 councils who told us they offered care to people with ‘moderate’ or ‘low’ needs in 2009, only 12 continue to do so.

At the same time, of the 100 councils that responded about their care charges in both 2009 and 2013, around a third (36) have increased charges above the rate of inflation. Barnsley Metropolitan Council has increased its hourly rates the most, by 160%, whereas Tower Hamlets London Borough Council has maintained a zero charge policy and remains the least expensive council for care costs.


We launch the Which? University website

Our new website helps students make more informed decisions about their higher education choices.

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