How to Complain

Find out how to make a complaint

Thinking of complaining to us?

Please note: If you have an urgent or emergency issue, please contact your local authority or care provider. We still expect councils and care providers to respond appropriately to any complaints they receive during this time

Coronavirus (COVID-19) update – 21 May

  • We are currently not taking on any new complaints, in order to protect the capacity of councils and care providers to deliver vital frontline services.
  • Having talked to councils and stakeholders, we are now re-starting some existing investigations with councils who have indicated they have capacity to work with us.

Our helpline is open daily between 10am-12pm on a trial basis. This is for general advice only about the complaints process and whether we are the right organisation to help.

For more information visit our Coronavirus update page.

You first need to have complained to the organisation involved, and given them chance to respond. See our video for more information:


Summary of the key steps to making a complaint:

  • You must give them a chance to put things right before complaining to us

  • You should go through all stages of their complaints procedure

See our Top tips for making a complaint

  • If your problem has not been put right

  • If you have not had a response within a reasonable time. This should usually be within 12 weeks but may be longer for social care complaints that follow a statutory process

See more detail on how to complain to us

In most cases, we cannot investigate if you have not:

  • complained to us within 12 months of becoming aware of the matter

  • been directly affected by the matter - we call this 'personal injustice'

  • We will take a first look at your complaint and advise on the next steps 

  • Then we will assess whether we can and should investigate

  • If we investigate, we may ask you and the organisation for more information 

  • We publish our final decisions on our website. We don’t use real names


Detailed information on making a complaint: