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Campaigns | Public Services

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Update

Barriers to giving feedback on public services must be removed

13th March

Our new research reveals a third of people who have experienced a problem with public services in the past year didn’t complain.

Some cited not knowing who to complain to and thinking it wouldn't be worth the effort as reasons as to why they didn't complain.

And even those who do complain aren’t always happy with the response. Four in 10 weren't satisfied with the outcome of their complaint and half felt like their complaint was ignored. Yet nearly nine in 10 of those who were dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint didn’t take it any further.

Strengthening patient feedback in the NHS

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director, said:

‘Public services are vital to everyone and if something goes wrong it’s crucial that people feel it's worth speaking up to help stop the same thing happening again. Barriers to giving feedback must be removed if public services are to deliver the high standards that we all expect.'

While the Government has announced new measures to strengthen patient feedback in the NHS in the last year we think there is still work to be done across all of public services, including in care homes and schools, to encourage people to share their experiences and help improve services.

We’re calling on the Government to be the champion of patients, parents and all users of public services.

We want to see a shakeup of the way complaints are handled, to give people the confidence that their complaints count and will trigger action. You can help by signing our petition and sharing your experiences of complaining or complimenting your public services.

Success

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.

News

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.

Success

We launch the Which? University website

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

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