Understanding how to make a complaint about Local Authority Adult Social Care

When do you need to make a complaint?

You should make your complaint as soon as possible

or

within 12 months of the event or decision

or

as soon as you first know you have a problem.

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

You can make a complaint on behalf of yourself or on behalf of someone else. 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 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. This includes residential or nursing home, personal care or support to live independently at home:

  • That has not met the standards you expected

  • Where decisions or actions of these services or organisations has affected you or will affect you


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


  • they are unable to make the complaint themselves because:

  • they lack capacity

  • they have mental or physical health issues

  • they have requested your help to act for them

  • They have died

And if they have/had any concerns about:

  • a service that they receive or received

  • a member of staff

  • 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, this includes residential or nursing home, personal care or support to live independently at home:

  • That has not met the standards they expected

  • Where decisions or actions of these services or organisations has affected them or will affect them

If making a complaint on the 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. Complaints can include when services or decisions that have caused problems for you or for the person you are complaining on behalf of, such as issues with:


  • Fees and charges

  • Delays

  • Safety or safeguarding

  • Poor quality or lack of care

  • Needs assessments/care and support plans/reviews

  • Carer's assessments/Carer’s support plans/reviews

  • Errors left unchecked or uncorrected

  • Giving out misleading information

  • Poor quality communication

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

There are certain conditions that mean that you cannot make a complaint. These include: You cannot make a complaint about Local Authority Adult Social Care if:


  • You have already raised the complaint and:

  • it was raised verbally and was resolved by the end of the next working day

  • it has already been considered in line with the complaint's procedure

  • it has been investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman

  • 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

Please note you cannot make a complaint to the Local Authority Adult Social Care if:

  • your complaint is about a private company employed and paid for privately

If you have a complaint about a private company employed and paid for privately you can:

  • follow the private organisation’s complaints procedure

  • if you are not happy with the outcome, please raise your complaint with the Local Government Social Care Ombudsman (See Part Four and Part Five of our information pack)

Who do I make the complaint to?

  • In the first instance you should follow the complaints policy of the organisation which is providing your care. (Please refer to part two ‘How do I make a complaint to Adult Social Care’)

  • If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can escalate it and follow the Adult Social Care complaints procedure. (Please refer to part two ‘How do I make a complaint to Adult social care’)

  • If you are not satisfied with the outcome from adult social care, you can escalate it to the LGSCO (Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman) (Please refer to part four ‘Understanding how to make a complaint to Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO))