Wednesday May 28, 2014

Local authority complaints procedures should be “sensitive to adult social care users’ fears and concerns; welcoming to the important lessons for improving practice that they reveal, and should never in any way inhibit the capacity of citizens to help put things right when they’re going wrong.”
So says ADASS President David Pearson in response to the Local Government Ombudsman report published today detailing the volume of complaints they’d received from users of adult social care services. He echoed Anna Bradley, Chair of Healthwatch England, who said that the increase in numbers of complaints since 2009 shows that more people feel they can make their voices heard, and help keep services 'up to scratch’.
He went on to say that, without diminishing the importance of this report, nor the impact poor standards of care can have on older people and disabled people, “according to the Ombudsman’s own figures, only 0.0018 per cent of the 1.3 million users of adult social care in England have complained to the LGO. 
“This doesn’t mean that there haven’t been more complaints resolved at the local authority level. But it does mean that, during a very hard financial period indeed, adult social care departments have continued overall to commission or provide good services.
“Local authorities and service providers need to learn from complaints. But must bear in mind that councils are reducing cost and transforming services while doing their best to serve local people.”


For further information contact:
David Pearson, ADASS President, 0115 977 4636
Drew Clode, ADASS Policy/Media Adviser, 020 8348 5023 mob: 07976 837755

Editorial Notes

The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) represents directors and senior managers of adult social services departments in English local authorities. Directors (DASSs) have statutory responsibilities for the social care of older people, adults with disabilities and adults with mental health needs. 
In many authorities ADASS members will also share a number of responsibilities for the provision and/or commissioning of housing, leisure, libraries, culture, and community safety on behalf of their councils. More than a third of DASSs are also the statutory director of children’s services for their authority.