The DH Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries Unit welcomes your enquiries. We answer letters and online correspondence about the Department and its policies. We aim to reply within 18 working days.
You can contact us via letter, telephone, web contact form, fax and textphone using the details listed below.
We often receive enquiries that fall under the remit of other government departments. If we need to transfer your correspondence to another department, we will write to you and let you know.
If your enquiry is for the attention of a social care organisation, a government agency, or for the NHS, we will write back to you with information on how you can contact them.
The Department of Health welcomes campaigns from the public about health and social care issues. However, from 2 April 2012 we will no longer reply to every individual item of campaign correspondence. Instead we will respond to the campaign organiser and post a response to the campaign on the Responses to campaigns page of our website. In line with information management policy, individual campaign representations will be held for six months and then destroyed.
Making a complaint
You may wish to make a complaint about the Department of Health but please note that the Department cannot process complaints about the NHS or social services. There are separate processes and independent organisations which can ensure that your complaint is dealt with in the most appropriate, timely and effective manner.
The Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries Unit can pass general health and social care suggestions on to policy teams. However, if you wish to make suggestions to improve local services, you should contact your local NHS Trust or your representative in Parliament. The Department is always keen to consult stakeholders and the wider public in the shaping and development of policy.
The Department of Health is not able to provide medical advice or make clinical judgements about individual cases, as that is the responsibility of the relevant health care professional concerned. We recommend that people who are seeking medical or clinical advice should contact their GP or health care professional.
The Call Centre provides a dedicated team of Information Advisors to assist you. We aim to answer 80% of our calls in 30 seconds. We receive a high volume of telephone calls on subjects that fall outside our remit, for example the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Before contacting us, you may be able to find information and contact details for other organisations by visiting our Frequently Asked Questions page.
If we are unable to answer your question immediately, we can offer a research and callback service. An Information Advisor will make a note of your query and contact details. We will then look for the information you require and call you back within three working days.
We take telephone calls on behalf of policy teams, which are not public-facing offices, and will do our best to find you the information you require.
Please note that our telephone number is not a freephone number. You may wish to contact your telephone service provider for information on charges.
Write to us:
Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries Unit
Department of Health
London SW1A 2NS
Phone: 020 7210 4850 (Office opening hours 08:30-17:30 Mon-Fri)
Textphone: 020 7210 5025 (for people with impaired hearing)
Fax: 020 7210 5952
Online: web contact form
Most Department of Health staff are located at our main offices in London and Leeds. Addresses and maps are available here.
Contacting the Secretary of State for Health and Health Ministers
You can write directly to the Secretary of State and Health Ministers at the Department’s address. However, due to the large volume of post received, you will receive a response on their behalf from the Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries Unit. The Unit is an integral part of the Department of Health managed by Jo Rees MBE, and staffed by civil servants. The Unit has been set up to reply on behalf of Health Ministers to enquiries and correspondence from members of the public (letters, emails and telephone calls) and there is close liaison with Ministers on a daily basis. Please note that the Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries Unit is unable to transfer telephone calls to the Ministers’ offices.
Contact your MP
You may wish to contact your MP and ask them to raise an issue directly with the Health Ministers. Should your MP do so, they can expect a written response from one of the Department’s Ministers within 18 working days. Your MP may provide you with a copy of the Minister’s response.
The Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries Unit welcomes your feedback about the service we provide.
We are constantly looking for ways to improve our services. Some of the areas we have improved after consulting with our customers include:
- Acknowledgements for complaints
- Established a Customer Charter
- Introduced new training for staff to improve the quality of our responses
- Improved our annual performance against the standard Whitehall target response time, to 99%
- Lowered our response time target to 18 working days
- Introduced a web contact form
- Extended the call centre opening hours
- Distributed call centre surveys more frequently
- Started responding to queries using Twitter
- Publish responses to campaigns on the Department’s website