Which? demands action on NHS complaints Sign our petition to make complaints count

13 March 2014

Which? campaigns to make public services complaints count

Want your voice to be heard? Sign up to our Make Complaints Count campaign

Half of those who've complained about the NHS, social care or a school or university feel ignored. Not surprised? Join our new campaign and help make public services complaints count.

New Which? research has found that a third of people who've experienced problems with a public service in the past year didn't complain. Of those who did complain, 39% were dissatisfied with the outcome and 49% felt their complaint was ignored.

That's why Which? is launching a new campaign called Make Complaints Count. We want to ensure that when you speak up, staff in public services listen and act on your concerns. Join our campaign and help make every voice heard.

Make complaints count

Three-quarters of our survey respondents said they'd be more likely to complain if they knew it would result in direct action - and that's what the Make Complaints Count campaign is all about. 

We want the government to pledge to be the champions of patients, parents and all users of public services by committing to:

  • Giving people a role in triggering inspections by regulators through their complaints
  • Giving people a single, unified public services ombudsman which will quickly deal with unresolved complaints
  • Giving people a voice by allowing super-complaints in our public services, as we have in private markets.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd 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. We want to see a shake-up of the way complaints are handled, to give people the confidence that their complaints count and will trigger action.'

How to complain

If you have a bad experience when using a public service, be it with your GP, a hospital, care home, school, higher education institution or childcare, it's important that you know where to go - and that your concern will be taken seriously when you report it.

The Which? Consumer Rights website is packed with advice on this issue. Our guide on how to complain if you're unhappy with your GP or GP surgery is just one example of the information you can find there. There are dozens more guides available - just use the search bar to find what you're looking for.

And if complaining doesn't get you anywhere, read up on when to take a complaint to an ombudsman.

Choosing the best hospital, care home or university

At Which? we've developed a number of tools designed to help you choose the right service for you, to ensure you get the best chance at having a positive experience when it comes to using public services:

  • Which? Birth Choice - find and compare hospitals and birthing centres close to your home and explore which type of birth is best for you
  • Which? Elderly Care - understand all the different options when it comes to elderly care, plus find services in your local area
  • Which? University - discover the best course, university or college for you or your child and get to grips with fees and finance.

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