Complaints about health and social care

We are the Ombudsman for any type of adult social care complaint and the Health Service Ombudsman has jurisdiction for complaints about health services.

People may have a complaint about services provided by both health and social care organisations. Instead of having to complain to both ombudsmen, we have a Joint Working Team that can investigate these issues together.

This gives you:

  • a single investigator who can look at the whole case from all angles
  • a quicker and more focused investigation

It also means the different organisations being investigated only have to deal with a single point of contact.

It does not matter which Ombudsman you originally complain to. See How to complain for more information on how to make a complaint to us.

About the team

The Joint Working Team is managed by us but has investigators from both ombudsmen, who are trained to investigate health and social care issues. There are ten investigators in the team. Three of these are there to assess the complaint to see if it should be investigated in the Joint Working Team. The other seven investigate complaints that have been assessed as joint working cases.

During the assessment of a complaint, we consider whether there is a distinct link between what the organisations did or should have done. As part of that, we generally ask for your approval to share information about the complaint between us.