What complaints we can and can’t deal with
We can only handle complaints about the work, staff and levels of service provided by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
We can’t deal with:
How to make a formal complaint about DHSC
What information we’ll need from you
If you want to make a formal complaint about DHSC, we will need:
- a clear, detailed description of what your complaint is about
- copies of any letters or emails related to the complaint
- a correspondence case reference number, if you have it
- your email address or postal address (so we can reply)
How to make your complaint
If you want to speak to someone about a complaint, you can call our public enquiries line on 020 7210 4850, where we will try to resolve the issue if we can. You can also contact us by textphone on 020 7210 5025.
Lines are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays.
If you prefer to put your complaint in writing, you can write to our complaints manager at:
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries Unit
Department of Health and Social Care
39 Victoria Street
Alternatively, you can fill in our web contact form.
The complaints manager will forward your complaint on to the relevant team leader to begin the investigation.
Please note that it is advisable to place detailed complaints in writing, where possible, to ensure your concerns are comprehensively covered.
What happens next
When you’ve made your complaint, we will:
- send an email to let you know that we’ve received it (as long as you’ve provided a valid email address).
Our complaints process has 3 stages:
- Stage 1 – complaints go to the team leader of the individual or team that your complaint references. The team leader will investigate, with a target of responding to your complaint within 20 working days
- Stage 2 – complaints are investigated by the senior manager responsible for the team that your complaint references. They will investigate with a target of responding to your complaint within 20 working days
- Stage 3 – complaints are investigated by a senior manager who is independent of the individual or team that your complaint references. They will investigate with a target of responding to your complaint within 20 working days
What to do if you’re not satisfied
At each stage of our complaints process, you will be provided with the information to escalate your complaint if you are unhappy with the response that you receive.
If, after following the 3 stages of our complaints process, you are not satisfied with the outcome of your formal complaint, you can ask your local MP to refer it to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.
You have to go through your MP – you cannot approach the ombudsman directly. The ombudsman investigates complaints where government departments or other public bodies have not acted properly or fairly, or have provided a poor service. Government departments have to co-operate with the ombudsman by law.
Appealing against a decision by the ombudsman
If you are unhappy with the ombudsman’s decision, you can appeal directly to the ombudsman.