Number of Adult Social Care complaints falls by four, but process criticised

Isle of Wight Council revealed the number of adult social care complaints has decreased by four compared to the previous year, but Cllr Lilley said having a separate complaints team was confusing to people when they most needed help

michael lilley

Complaints about adult social care services on the Isle of Wight have fallen compared with last year — but one councillor has criticised the complaints process.

A report published by the Isle of Wight Council revealed the number of complaints has decreased by four — 73 new complaints were made between 1st April 2018, and 31st March 2019.

77 complaints dealt with
Including cases carried over from the previous year, 77 complaints were dealt with last year by the dedicated complaints officer for adult social care.

The council resolved 35 complaints in an early resolution period, before a formal process was required.

Eighteen complaints were not upheld by the council — including a failure to complete social care assessments and the provision of advice and information.

Upheld complaints included failures in communication relating to arranging care and supporting hospital discharge, as well as failing to deliver expected standards of care.

Figures below national average
Speaking about the report at yesterday’s (Monday) meeting of the health and social care policy and scrutiny committee, director of adult social care Dr Carol Tozer said the figures were below national average in cases where the government ombudsman found the council at fault.

She said:

“We need to take complaints seriously and learn from them but we also need to note the compliments — our frontline colleagues and workers get things right.

“I commend the work done by our complaints officer. They know the system, working and challenging our colleagues when we need to but the results speak for themselves.”

Lilley: A need for an integrated complaints system
However, committee member Cllr Michael Lilley suggested having a separate complaints team was confusing to people when they most needed help.

He said:

“People are often coming into the service from all different paths and it is difficult to know who directly to make their complaints to.

“The complaints go to the wrong people and, when they are sent back, they are not followed up because the families say they are just too tired.

“Is there a need for an integrated complaints system, so that you can learn together and a pathway can be followed with joined up thinking? There is a duty of care there.”

Image: © With kind permission of Allan Marsh

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2 Comments on "Number of Adult Social Care complaints falls by four, but process criticised"

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Alternative Perspective

If you frustrate the complaints process, you effectively deny access, some people, particularly those most vulnerable, will simply give up.

The result is you inevitably will receive less complaints and can therefore argue services are getting better.

Neat aye?

You’ll notice a lot of this kinda stuff on the run up to the General Election.


Of course there are fewer complaints – there are fewer adults in Social Care due to homes closing for one reason or another. I can think of at least three homes closed this last year or so.