George the Poet unmuted as 50,000 sign up to make complaints count

Which? unmutes an exclusive music track by George the Poet and producer Jakwob, as 50,000 sign up to our campaign for the Government to improve complaints handling in public services.

As part of the Which? campaign to make complaints count in public services, George the Poet and music producer Jakwob collaborated to create a unique track. As part of #UNMUTEUK the track was then muted to represent how people feel when their voices are ignored or they don’t feel able to speak up.

Thanks to the public support for this issue, and 50,000 now backing the campaign, the full track has been unmuted and can be heard for the first time.

We launched the make complaints count campaign after finding that many people don’t speak up when they experience problems in public services, and those who do aren’t always satisfied with the result.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: 

“Thousands of people have told us that they feel their voices go unheard when things go wrong with public services. Working with influential artists has helped send a strong message that it’s crucial for people to speak up, and now 50,000 people have joined our campaign calling on the Government to make complaints count.

“The Government must take action to give people the confidence that their complaints will trigger change in public services.”

It’s vital people speak up when things go wrong in public services to stop the same mistakes happening again yet thousands of people have reported their experiences to Which? saying that they felt ignored. Some of the stories we have heard from the public include:

“We have had cause to complain twice before about hospital treatment and it took the intervention of our MP before anything was taken seriously” – Sarah, from Boston.

“I have had cause to complain in the past – but have been held back because I was told it would affect the quality of care given to my relation whilst in hospital. I felt powerless to expose dreadful care” – Sara, from Norfolk.

We are taking all of the stories from the public to Ministers and calling on the Government to ensure that when people speak up, their concerns are acted upon.

We want the Government to make it easier for people to have their say on hospitals, GPs, care homes, childcare, schools, universities, and other public services. We’re calling for complaints to help trigger inspections by regulators and for the Government to create a unified public services ombudsman. We also think representative groups should be able to make super-complaints about public services, as they do in private markets.

We found that a third (34%) of people who had experienced a problem with public services in the past year didn’t complain. The reasons were not knowing who to complain to (35%) and thinking that it would not be worth the effort (39%).

We also found four in ten (39%) who did complain weren’t satisfied with the outcome and half (49%) felt like their complaint was ignored.

 
Notes to editors:

1.    The track has been produced by Jakwob, famed for his remixes of major artists such as Ellie Goulding and Lana del Ray, with lyrics penned by George the Poet who provides social commentary on the need for the public, no matter their age, to recognise the power of their own voices: “If you ain’t gonna say a word/You’re bound to remain unheard.”

2.    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.

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