Complaints procedure

We take complaints about our work, staff and levels of service very seriously. If you are not satisfied, please follow the process for raising a formal complaint.

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 (DH).

We can’t deal with:

Complaints about DH

If you want to speak to someone about a complaint, you can call our public enquiries call centre on 020 7210 4850 (lines are open 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays), where we will try to resolve the issue if we can.

Or contact us by textphone on 020 7210 5025 (lines are open from 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays).

If you prefer to put your complaint in writing, in the first place, write to the person who handled your query: that’s usually the quickest way to resolve a problem. If you’re still not satisfied, ask for your complaint to be escalated to their team leader or line manager.

What information we’ll need from you

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)

We aim to respond to complaints within 20 working days. If we can’t reply to you within this time, we will let you know and tell you when you can expect a reply.

If the problem is still unresolved, you can make a formal complaint to our Complaints Manager.

How to make a formal complaint about DH

You can make a formal complaint by post, online or by phone.

Write to:

Complaints Manager
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries
Department of Health
Richmond House
79 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2NS

Fill in our web contact form (please put ‘For the attention of the Complaints Manager’ in the subject line).

Phone our public enquiries call centre on 020 7210 4850 (lines are open 8:30am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays). Our call centre staff can take a note of your complaint to pass on to the Complaints Manager, or arrange a suitable time for an advisor to do so. Please note 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)
  • investigate your complaint (looking at whether your questions were answered, whether you suffered any injustice or hardship, and what remedy would be fair and proportionate in the circumstances)

What to do If you’re not satisfied

If 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 can’t 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.

Help us improve GOV.UK

Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.