Which? response to changes in the way the PHSO handles complaints

Responding to changes in the way the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) handles complaints, Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

“It’s encouraging to see the PHSO investigating more complaints and making it easier to complain. People often don’t complain because they don’t think anything will be done.

“We’re campaigning for a shake up of the way complaints are handled across all public services to give people the confidence that their complaint counts and could stop the same problem happening again.”


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.