Adult services complaints

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This page is for adults who use our social care services, their unpaid carers, family and their representatives.

About services complaints

It is important to give feedback to practitioners about your experiences of adult social care. This helps us to know what we are doing well and where we need to improve. You don’t need to make a formal complaint to comment on your experiences.

Feedback can be positive, negative or neutral. Compliments and feedback are just as important as complaints.  A complaint can cover any concerns you have about a service or member of staff that have not met the standard you would expect.

What is adult social care?

Adult social care includes all types of care and support including personal care and other practical help. It is assessed under the Care Act 2014 when a local authority is involved. It also includes care and support arranged and funded privately, and care and support funded by the NHS. It is for people aged 18 and over who need help because of age, illness or disability. Here are some examples:

  • provision of equipment;
  • help in your home with daily living;
  • community support and activities;
  • day centres;
  • residential care;
  • home adaptations;
  • information and advice;
  • advocacy;
  • support for carers.

Some concerns cannot be taken under the statutory adult complaints process.  If this is the case we will advise you and let you know if we can take your complaint under the council’s formal corporate complaints process.

Not happy with your care?

Please tell us as soon as possible and we will try to put things right for you informally in the first place.

Problem not fixed?

You can make a formal complaint to the council. Statutory adult social care complaints follow a one-stage process with a second independent stage through the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO).

Stage one – local resolution

During stage one your complaint will be looked at by the manager in the adult social care team that you are complaining about.

The council will aim to provide you with a response within 20 working days.  If this is not possible then we will give you an interim response within 20 working days that lets you know:

  • Where we have got to with investigating your complaint.
  • How long we expect the investigation to take and when you will receive a full response (up to a maximum of three months, except in exceptional circumstances).

We will keep in touch with you to update you while the investigation is ongoing.

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Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

If you have been through our complaints procedure and have received a final response but you are still unhappy, you can ask the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) to review your complaint.

The LGSCO investigates complaints in a fair and independent way - it does not take sides. It is a free service.

The LGSCO expects you to have given us a chance to deal with your complaint, before you contact them. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable time, it may decide to look into your complaint anyway. This is usually up to 12 weeks but can be longer for social care complaints that follow a statutory process.

Making a complaint to the council

You can make a complaint about adult services in any of the following ways: