“Make their voices heard” – our response to a new NHS complaints guide for patients

Responding to the new NHS complaints guide for patients, Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: 

“Giving patients a guide to the NHS complaints process ​may ​be a welcome first step in helping them understand this complex system but people need to feel that their complaints will make a difference to encourage them to make their voices heard. 

“We want complaints handling improved across all public services so it’s easier for people to speak up and people have confidence their complaint will trigger action.”  


1. The ‘Make complaints count’ campaign is calling on the Government to pledge to be the champion 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 unified public services ombudsman which can swiftly deal with their unresolved complaints

·         Giving people a voice by allowing representative groups to make super-complaints in our public services, as they do in private markets

People can support the campaign at www.which.co.uk/publicservices 

2. Previous Which? research has found: 

·         34% of people who have experienced a problem with public services in the past year didn’t complain

·         39% didn’t complain because they didn’t think it would be worth the effort

·         32% didn’t complain because they didn’t think anything would be done

·         75% would be more likely to complain if they knew it would result in direct action

·         79% would be more likely to complain if they knew it would make a difference to other people’s experience 

Methodology: Populus, on behalf of Which?, conducted an online survey of 4,132 UK adults between 19thand 23rd February 2014. Data were weighted to be representative of all UK adults. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by their rules. ​​