Laura Sharman 13 March 2014

People failing to complain about poor public services

People failing to complain about poor public services image

Nearly half of people who complained about problems with a public service in the past year felt their complaint was ignored, according to new research from Which?

The research also found that a third of people who experienced problems with public services did not complain, with most saying it was not worth the effort. Of those that did complain, 39% said they were unhappy with the outcome.

Which? is calling on the Government to create a single public services ombudsman to deal with unresolved complaints and give people a greater role in triggering the inspections of services.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, said: 'Public services are vital to everyone and if something goes wrong it’s crucial that people feel it's worth speaking up to help stop the same thing happening again.

'Barriers to giving feedback must be removed if public services are to deliver the high standards that we all expect. We want to see a shake-up of the way complaints are handled, to give people the confidence that their complaints count and will trigger action.'

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has welcomed the Make Complaints Count campaign saying a single ombudsman would make it easier for people to know who to complain to.

Dr Jane Martin, Local Government Ombudsman, said: ‘I called for a single Public Services Ombudsman for England in our evidence to the Public Administration Select Committee’s inquiry into complaints about public services in December.

‘I believe that this would provide the public with a more accessible route to redress when they are let down by public services and would ensure greater local accountability of those services.’

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