How to make a complaint to LGSCO

Who can make a complaint and what can you complain about?

As discussed earlier in the information pack, it is advisable to make your complaint in the first instance to the organisation who provide the service, as this will give them the chance to resolve the issue, and it may be able to be resolved to your satisfaction in a timely manner. This would be the first stage, which is sometimes called Local Resolution.

If you have followed the organisations complaints process and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you have the right to complain to the LGSCO, who will do an independent review of the complaint.

You may want to complain to the LGSCO because of a failure in the service or in the way your complaint was dealt with, these may include:

  • Delay

  • Poor record keeping

  • Failure to take action

  • Failure to follow procedures or the law

  • Poor communication

  • Giving out misleading information

  • Failure to investigate

  • The organisation not doing what it said it would

Anybody can make a complaint to the LGSCO

You can make a complaint on behalf of yourself or on behalf of someone else.

If making a complaint on behalf of someone else, you must gain their consent.

If the person is deemed to lack capacity to bring a complaint you can do so if it is in their best interests.

If making a complaint for someone who has died you are able to be their representative as long as it is deemed that you have had sufficient interest in the welfare of the deceased person.

Counsellors or MP’s can help you make a complaint, with your permission.

You can only complain about your own council, or if you are complaining about a service you receive and have been personally affected. As well as Social Care, you can complain to the LGSCO about most council services these include:

  • Council tax

  • Planning

  • Some housing issues

  • Housing benefit

  • Children’s services

  • Some education and school issues

  • Transport and highways

  • Environmental issues and waste

  • Neighbour issues and antisocial behaviour

With regards to adult care and support: Please note: the LGSCO will look at any type of adult social care complaint, including care arranged and paid for privately with no council involvement You can make a complaint for yourself if:

  • you have any concerns about:

  • a service that you receive or received

  • a member of staff

  • a private company

  • a volunteer

And it is in relation to care, or services that have been provided or paid for by Local Authority Adult Social Care, including via direct payment or an individual budget, or as mentioned, it is privately funded, this includes residential or nursing home, personal care or support to live independently at home; that:


  • has not met the standards you expected

  • you are or will be affected by decisions or actions of these services or organisations

You can make a complaint on behalf of someone else if:

  • they are unable to make the complaint themselves due to:

  • lack of capacity

  • mental or physical health issues

  • have requested your help to act for them

  • have died

And if they have any concerns about:

  • a service that they receive or received

  • a member of staff

  • a private company

  • a volunteer

And it is in relation to care, or services that have been provided or paid for by Local Authority Adult Social Care, including via direct payment or an individual budget, or as mentioned, it is privately funded, this includes residential or nursing home, personal care or support to live independently at home; that:

  • has not met the standards they expected

  • they are or will be affected by decisions or actions of these services or organisations

  • Complaints about health and social care can be dealt with by the Joint working team who will carry out a joint investigation with both the LGSCO and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) - through this process there will be a single point of contact for you

When can you not make a complaint about Local Authority Adult Social Care to the LGSCO?

There are certain conditions that mean that you cannot make a complaint through the LGSCO. These include: You cannot make a complaint to the LGSCO about adult social care if:


  • it has been more than 12 months since you knew about the issue or concern

  • Your complaint is about an organisation supplying a service to you, who you work for, and the complaint is with regards to your employment and not the care you receive (this would be a different process under employment rights)

  • The matter does not affect or relate to you or your care, or that of the person you are complaining on behalf of

  • the issue affects most people in the council's area

  • You are already taking legal action

  • You are planning to take legal action

  • There is another possible course of legal action open to you that it is reasonable for you to follow.

Each case will be looked at individually. Please note: the LGSCO is not an appeals body or regulator for councils and care providers. They cannot insist that disciplinary action is taken.