The Department is committed to providing the highest standard of service to all its customers. Our aim is to get things right first time. However, if you are not entirely satisfied with any aspect of our service, please tell us and we will do our best to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

The procedure set out below explains how you can make a complaint about the quality of our services. Please note that there are separate complaints procedures in place for any dealings with health and social care organisations.

Details of these procedures can be found on the nidirect website.

If your complaint is about the NI Fire and Rescue Service, you should use the following link.

How to Make a Complaint

Informal Procedure

Our aim is to resolve any complaint quickly and you are invited initially to bring any matter of concern to the attention of the Departmental official with whom you have been dealing. However, if you still feel dissatisfied after this approach, you may initiate a formal complaint in writing.

Formal Procedures – Step 1

You should write to us giving full details of the complaint. We will arrange for your complaint to be investigated and we aim to provide a full written reply within 20 working days of receiving it. If a full reply cannot be given within this timescale, you will be advised of progress and told when you can expect a full response.

You can write to us at the following address:

Complaints Officer
Corporate Services Directorate
Department of Health
Annexe 4
Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate
BELFAST
BT4 2 SQ
Fax (028) 9052 3221 marked ‘For attention of Complaints Officer’

Or email us at complaints@health-ni.gov.uk

Formal Procedures – Step 2

If you are not satisfied with our reply, you may contact the Department’s Complaints Officer, again giving full details of your complaint and why you remain dissatisfied. The Complaints Officer will review the matter and respond within the timescales as set out in Step 1.

Our Standards

In all cases the Department will:

  • acknowledge receipt of your complaint. We will normally issue a letter of acknowledgement within two working days of receiving your complaint
  • treat your complaint in a confidential manner
  • carry out a thorough investigation
  • aim to provide a written reply to your complaint with a full explanation of the outcome of our investigations within 20 working days and, where this is not possible, let you know when a reply can be expected
  • apologise if we have made a mistake or if a problem has been caused by us
  • let you know what we have done to put things right

Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman

Our complaints procedure is not a substitute for your right to complain to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman's Office.

You should note, however, that the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman will generally expect you to have used all the steps of the Department’s internal Complaints Procedure before accepting your complaint.

Your complaint must initially be referred to the Ombudsman by a Member of the NI Assembly (MLA).

Details of the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman's procedures can be found on their website.

 

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