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Coronavirus update

Like many other organisations, we have been actively monitoring the development of coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on our work. We have also been closely following Government guidance to make sure we look after the health and wellbeing of everyone who works here.

Restarting our work on NHS complaints

To help the NHS focus resource on tackling the coronavirus pandemic, we paused our work on existing NHS complaints and acceptance of new health complaints on 26 March 2020.

After careful consideration, we decided the time was right for us to restart this work on 1 July 2020. We are now accepting new NHS complaints and progressing existing ones.

Our health casework may take longer than usual as the NHS is still facing increased demand and there may be a higher number of cases to work through. This means our response times could be slower than usual for people who are using our service. We will update the information on this page to keep you informed of potential delays.

We are continuing to monitor the situation carefully, including the types of complaints we may see in future as a result of the pandemic. While we don’t yet know how many complaints will be brought to us about coronavirus related issues, we might receive a significant number. We are considering how we would respond to this.

If you are a complaint handler, please visit our questions and answers page for further information.

Time limits 

If your 12-month time limit ran out between 26 March and 30 June 2020 when we were not accepting new health complaints, you now have until 1 September 2020 to bring your complaint to us.

If you have a concern or a complaint

Our helpline is open and our staff continue to offer advice and support to people with a concern or complaint about the NHS in England. We are also able to signpost vulnerable or isolated individuals to other services which can support them at this difficult time.

Please make sure that we are the right organisation to look at your complaint and that it is ready for us. If you are not sure, our complaint checker tool will help you.

You can use our online complaint form to submit your complaint to us or download a complaint form from our website.

Complaints about UK government departments and agencies

We will continue to progress complaints about UK Government departments and agencies for the time being. However, we recognise that many of their resources are also stretched and will keep this under review.

These complaints still need to be referred to us by an MP. Please ask them to email your complaint to phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk rather than post. For more information see what to do before you come to us.

Office closure and receipt of post

To safeguard the wellbeing of our staff we decided to close our offices in Manchester and London on 26 March 2020. 

On 15 June 2020 our Manchester office reopened to a small team who are working through the post we received while the office was closed.

The rest of our staff continue to work remotely and do not have access to the office building.

We are still not currently able to receive post to our London office which remains closed to all staff. Any post sent there will be kept securely.

We advise you to send correspondence by email directly to your caseworker or to phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk. Please quote your case reference number if you have one. Relevant documents should be scanned and attached to the email if possible.

Service of legal documents

We can now accept postal service of legal documents to our Manchester office. Please send to: Legal team, Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Citygate, Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3HQ.

Note that it may take us longer to process mail as we are operating with fewer staff and mail will need to be forwarded on to staff working from home. To minimise delays when posting legal documents to us, please clearly mark them for the attention of the legal team and either email Legal@ombudsman.org.uk or telephone 0345 015 4033 to let us know to expect them.  

Also note that we are unable to accept service by hand.

You may prefer to email all legal correspondence to Legal@ombudsman.org.uk.

If you have sent any correspondence with the intention of service by post in the last 14 days and it has not yet been acknowledged, please resubmit this by email as a matter of urgency

Your information rights during the pandemic

We remain committed to upholding your information rights during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes your right to ask for information about this organisation (a freedom of information request) or for your personal information (a subject access request). Our information rights staff are working remotely as our offices are closed.

We will try to continue to meet statutory deadlines for requests for digital information or electronic records, though this may not always be possible. 

Read more about your information rights during the coronavirus pandemic

Stay updated

The situation continues to change rapidly and we will provide further updates as we respond to it.

Please continue to check our website or follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.