Making conversations count – Ask, Listen, Do

‘Ask, Listen, Do’ is an NHS England campaign seeking to help organisations that support people with learning disabilities, and their families, to make it easier to give feedback, raise a concern and make a complaint and to know that it will make a difference. VODG is backing the campaign and encouraging organisations to review their policies and practice, and develop an Ask Listen Do approach for children and adults with a learning disability, autism or both and their families.

Ask: Providers seek people’s views about the services they provide.

Listen: Providers really listen, using any way that a person wishes to communicate.

Do: Providers do something positive about what has been said.


A recent survey of people with learning disabilities, autism or both and their family carers found that:

  • Nine out of ten people said that they wanted to raise a concern or make a complaint about their health, social care or education support at some time.
  • Two out of three people said that they sometimes or never know how to raise a concern or make a complaint.
  • Seven out of ten people said that they did not feel that their complaint had changed the way the organisation supports people.

Ask, Listen, Do is allied with the cross-system Quality Matters initiative aimed at making high-quality, person-centred care and support the norm for everyone receiving social care services. As part of VODG’s commitment to supporting this initiative, we are working with providers, NHS England and other sector stakeholders to promote good practice in responding to feedback, concerns and complaints.

The following organisations and resources are also available to assist providers.

NHS England has a range of resources on its website, including a film for people with learning disabilities, autism or both, top tips for families and carers and information on the Ask, Listen, Do survey results.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has produced a single complaints statement which describes the principles which underpin good practice in acting on compliments, feedback and complaints.

The Care Quality Commission has published guidance on Regulation 16: Receiving and Acting on Complaints.

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services has produced good practice guidance on handling complaints in social care.