What to do before you come to us

As we are the final stage for unresolved complaints, we usually expect you to complain to the organisation you are unhappy with first. This is so that it has the chance to look into your concerns and, where needed, put things right for you. 

Is your complaint about the NHS in England?

If your complaint is about a hospital, you might want to start by contacting its Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) or complaints department. 

There is information about feedback and complaints in the NHS on the NHS Choices website. 

You can read more about your rights and what to expect in the:

Is your complaint about a UK government department or public organisation?

By law, we can only look at complaints about UK government departments and other UK public organisations if a Member of Parliament (MP) refers the complaint to us. You can complete our complaint form and ask an your constituency MP or their office to sign it. 

MPs will consider all complaints, no matter how big or small - from problems with a benefit or tax office to concerns you have about the DVLA or an immigration issue.

You can find MPs' contact details at parliament.uk.

If you live outside the UK, and therefore do not have an MP, you can ask the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) to refer your complaint to us. You can find out more about the role of PACAC, including contact details, on the PACAC website.

You should contact the Chair at their Westminster address or by emailing pacac@parliament.uk. Please note that the PACAC Chair will only refer cases to us for individuals who do not have their own constituency MP.

Complaints processes

Here are the complaints processes of five government organisations we often get asked about:

For other government organisations, visit GOV.UK to find out how to complain or contact the organisation for its complaints process.

For some government services, your complaint will have to go to a second review before we can look into it. This is often called a 'second tier'. Examples include the Adjudicator's Office or the Independent Case Examiner (ICE).

Getting advice and support

The Complain for change area of our website has lots of information, tips and resources to help you make your complaint to the organisation.

If you want free advice and help, we also have a list of organisations that can help.

Contact us

  • If you have reached the end of the complaints process and are not happy with the organisation's final decision, you can complain to us.
  • If the organisation does not reply to your complaint in the time it said it would or if you are running out of time to bring your complaint to us, please ring us on 0345 015 4033 and we will look at how we can help.