The government has been urged to introduce “mandatory signposting” for social care complaints after reporting varying levels of engagement with the system.
In its Annual Review of Adult Social Care Complaints, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, Michael King (pictured), said only 430 of 3,073 complaints and enquiries were from people who arranged their care privately with independent providers.
The Ombudsman said: “We’re pleased with how the adult care sector has worked with us to make almost 600 improvements to its services last year, which were agreed in our investigations. This is 7% more than the previous year, and they include things such as policy changes and staff training.
“However, people who fund their own care are still underrepresented in the complaints we see, and the number has plateaued for the past couple of years. Each missed complaint is a lost opportunity to improve care 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.
Professor Martin Green OBE, CEO, Care England, said: “We always welcome any new learning that providers can take from these reports and similarly we welcome the annual review which brings everything together. We will be sure to share the report with our members.
“There are some interesting recommendations and we look forward to discussing how mandatory signposting would work. During the pandemic the sector has worked extremely hard to deliver the best possible care and I want to pay tribute to the adult social care workforce for its incredibly hard work.”