“Good to see MPs recognising the need to reform NHS complaints handling” – our response to the Health Committee’s report ‘Complaints and Raising Concerns’

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said:

“It’s good to see MPs recognising the need to reform NHS complaints handling, and backing our call for a single ombudsman service to join up health and social care complaints.

“We now need to see the Government acting on these recommendations and paving the way for wider reforms including the introduction of super-complaints, as in private markets, and complaints triggering action from the regulators.” 


1. Our ‘Make complaints count’ campaign now has more than 60,000 supporters and 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 found:

  • More than half (54%) feel like their complaint is ignored by the NHS.
  • Only three in ten (31%) feel like their complaint is taken on board by the NHS.
  • Around four in ten (43%) are also dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint in the NHS.
  • One in five (22%) said they didn’t complain about a hospital or GP because they thought it might lead to worse treatment
  • A third (34%) didn’t complain because they didn’t know who to complain to.
  • People are less likely to take their complaint with the NHS further than in other public services – 63% compared to 55%.
  • People are more likely to feel like their complaint is ignored in the NHS than other public services – 54% compared to 49%.


Populus, on behalf of Which?, conducted an online survey of 4,132 UK adults between 19th and 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.​