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18 September 2020

Publish date: 18/09/2020

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is calling for more to be done to help the adult social care sector capitalise on the valuable learning complaints can bring, in its annual review. Launched this week, the Annual Review of Adult Social Care Complaints details the trends the Ombudsman has seen in the complaints it has received about adult social care in England during 2019-20.

Over the period the Ombudsman received 3,073 complaints and enquiries, but of those, only 430 were from people who arranged their care privately with independent providers. The disproportionately low number of complaints about independent providers means the independent sector is missing out on an untapped seam of valuable learning and potential improvements to their services.

The Ombudsman upheld 69% of those complaints it investigated in detail – higher than the average uphold figure of 62% across all the organisation's work. That uphold rate rose to 71% for cases specifically about independently provided care.

The Ombudsman is now calling for the government to use the planned social care reforms to require providers to tell people, if they are unhappy with the services they are receiving, how to complain not only to the providers themselves, but also how to escalate that complaint to the Ombudsman.

LLG are holding an Adult Social Care and Children's Services National Lead Zoom meeting on 24th September. There are still some places available, so if you want to catch up with colleagues and have the opportunity to discuss the issues facing you and your authority, please contact membership@llg.org.uk to secure your booking.

In other news, I am still looking for members to join several working groups to examine the planning reforms, judicial review call to evidence, and exit payments. Looking ahead I am also seeking expressions of interest to examine the long-awaited White Paper on local government reform. It is so important to ensure local government lawyers have a voice in all these proposals to ensure our sector is effectively represented. Please do get in touch with me and help shape future provision.

With best wishes

Helen McGrath

Head of Public Affairs