Our response to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman's annual review of adult social care complaints

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman's Annual Review of Adult Social Care Complaints has revealed it is investigating a greater proportion of complaints than previous years. Read our response in full.
Woman at health service standing at reception talking to staff member
“At the heart of every one of these complaints is someone who relies on social care to help them live their lives, and by speaking up these people and their carers have tried to send a message about how services are not meeting their needs.
— Jacob Lant, Head of Policy, Healthwatch England

Published today, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Ombudsman’s (LGSO) Annual Review of Adult Social Care Complaints has revealed that over the last 12 months it has seen a rise in both the number of complaints about social care it is investigating, and the proportion of cases being upheld.

Given the increasing financial and demographic pressures on the social care sector as a whole this increase in successful complaints is unsurprising, with the Ombudsman suggesting that “Iany of the issues we see appear to be driven by attempts to ration scarce resources”.

Reacting to the report, Jacob Lant, Head of Policy at Healthwatch England said:

“At the heart of every one of these complaints is someone who relies on social care to help them live their lives, and by speaking up these people and their carers have tried to send a message about how services are not meeting their needs.

“This is a message we at Healthwatch hear through more informal feedback too. Earlier this year our work on Dementia found that almost half of people with the condition are not getting the annual reviews needed to make sure they have the right care in place.

“It’s important that those responsible for the provision and commissioning of care services hear this message coming through from people and use the evidence to make a strong case for the future of social care, so they can plug the gaps and prevent the quality of care being compromised."

We are pleased to read in the statement from the LGSO that the councils and care providers who were investigated have made a commitment to implementing the recommendations made by the LGSO.

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