To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve his Department's response times to correspondence from members of the public.
9 November 2021
The Government recognises the importance of responding to members of the public in an effective and timely manner. The Cabinet Office published an updated ‘Guide to Handling Correspondence’ for Government Departments and agencies in July 2021.
The guidance reasserts the standards for handling correspondence, including a 20 working day deadline for Departments to respond to members of the public, criteria outlining when a response to a member of the public is required and when correspondence from a member of the public should be transferred to another Department. Following publication of the updated guidance, all Departments have been reminded that they must follow the processes outlined in the guidance.
To 17 October 2021, the Department has replied to 85% of cases from the public within its target of 18 working days. We aim to reply to 90% within this timeframe. We are deploying additional resource to improve this performance.