Complaints about adult social care have increased since last year, according to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Published this week (25 July), the Ombudsman’s Review of Local Government Complaints showed 2602 complaints were made about adult social care between 2017-18. This was slightly higher than the previous year when it received 2555 complaints from the public.
Overall, 17,452 complaints and enquiries about local government were sent to the ombudsman compared to 16,866 the year before.
This year, education and children’s services maintained its position as receiving the most enquiries, recording 3260 complaints; adult social care followed in second.
Uphold rate increases
Source: Annual report shows slight increase in complaints about adult social care : Community Care
My own comment to this article is
This is, however, just the tip of the ‘iceberg’ for there is much unrest or lack of trust in many, if not all of our Local Authorities, with many persons showing or more likely not showing their discontent.
In Sheffield, I am active in many groups, mainly, but not all, involved with learning disabilities and Autism and could guarantee that if I went to a meeting daily, I would come across at least one family at each meeting that were far from happy with Sheffield City Council, but to make a complaint or just query of a council action they would not do, but would voice their feelings in what they consider a ‘safe environment’.
They will not come forth for a number of reasons, they are unaware they can and if they do know, do not know how. for others it is a time consuming process and they are not willing or have the time to do so, In addition they may have complained previously and did not like how they were treated, but effectively the foremost reason, I believe is they are extremely scared of losing the small amount of care they have been granted already, also there will be some who feel their loved one or ones that have a need for care will be picked on for their family daring to complain.
This is also true of why complaints are not made frequently to numerous other organisations, many in health, including GPs and hospitals, care provider agencies, the list is endless.
By complaints not being made, the process for improving services is not being realised.
Complaints should not be feared by anyone, especially the person or persons who are not happy, but perhaps more so with the organisations, who may be reluctant to engage change.
Many profile cases have arisen over the years, the one I always quote, being Mid Staffs, between January 2005 and March 2009 at a Stafford hospital. Not only did the hospital not initially engage with the complaint positively they went out of their way to fight it. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/feb/06/mid-staffs-hospital-scandal-guide. The complainant not only lost her job, but her house, her family and had to leave the areas and I believe had to be given a new identity https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/oct/27/julie-bailey-mid-staffordshire-nhs-whistleblower.
Until there is openness, honesty and transparency and may I add accountability complaints will always never match the number of mistakes, wrong doings, etc that are taking place, but kept under the ‘carpet’.