Social care is usually delivered to a good standard and many people report being happy with the level of care delivered to them or their friends or family. However, occasions can arise where you may feel it is necessary to raise a complaint about the level of care either you or a friend or relative is receiving.
The first person to take a complaint to would be the manager of the care home. This could first be an informal discussion and you may find that this is enough to resolve the issue. However you can also launch a formal complaint and many care homes will have a formal complaints procedure.
You should also be aware if your complaint is due to a friend or relative refusing care, as if this is the case, a carer legally can’t do what was originally asked of them. Incidents like this should always be noted down in daily reports so you can ask to see records of this, if it has occurred.
If the issue has not been resolved with the care home provider, then complaints can be escalated to the local council. This applies if the council are involved in assessing the need for care, arranging care, providing, or commissioning for care, or paying for your care. In these cases, they are responsible for the level of care provided and therefore complaints can be taken to them. They will also have an official complaints procedure in place.
The final stage will be taking your complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. This is the organisation that investigates all individual complaints against local councils and adult social care providers. You have the right to ask for an independent review, which will be granted if all efforts at the local level have been exhausted. Citizen’s advice have a guide on when an independent review is appropriate, and the process involved.
The CQC are the body responsible for monitoring and inspecting the standard of care provided in England. Whilst they do not investigate individual complaints, issues can be submitted, and this helps them decide when, where and what to inspect. If they find that a service is not meeting standards of quality, they will take action to ensure that the level of care improves.
Healthwatch are an independent group for people who use health and social care services. You can also take your complaint to your local Healthwatch to help improve the services within your area.
All those involved in providing care want to deliver the best level of care possible and part of this is receiving feedback from those receiving care, and with loved ones in care, so that they can maintain the highest possible standards. So please don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel there is an issue that needs resolving.