The Committee considered a report which provided an update on complaint handling performance across all council services.
The Corporate Complaint Policy and Procedure was introduced on 1 April 2015. Turnarounds were set to 15 working days for Stage 1 complaints and 20 working days for Stage 2 complaints. Services should aim to respond to 95% of cases within time.
Some changes to the corporate timescales had been made, effective 1 October 2018, and the impact would be explored in greater detail at future meetings of Committee.
The 3rd quarter performance statistics for all complaints under the procedure was appended to the report as Appendix 1.
In summary, the Council received 411 Stage 1 complaints during the period October to December 2018. 77% of them (315) were responded to within 10 days.
The council received 69 requests for escalation to Stage 2 of the process, 88% (61) of them dealt with within 25 days.
This equated to an escalation request rate of 17% however, this was reduced to 9% when considering the number of cases that were not escalated to Stage 2.
Results for Quarter 3 were disappointing, bearing in mind the target was 95%.
However, bearing in mind the timescale for stage 1 complaints had changed from 15 days to 10 days with effect from 1 October 2018, a dip in performance had been expected whilst Services re-aligned themselves to the amended process.
Quarter 3 statutory complaints statistics for Children’s Social Care and Adult Social Care were shown at Appendix 2 of the report.
There had been a slight decrease in Children’s statutory complaints in Q3 (21) compared to the same period in 2017-18 (22). Adult statutory complaints had seen a slight decrease in 2018-19 for Q3 (22) compared to 2017-18 (27) in the same period.
Performance on response times for statutory complaints still required improvement with Adults having 64% (14 of 22) responded to within timescale and Children’s having 34% (6 of 21) in Q3 There were two escalations to Stage 2 in Q3 Children’s Services within the statutory process.
Members noted that there was no Stage 2 process in Adult Social Care complaints. Following Stage 1 complaint the complaint automatically went to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Members were advised that there was a new system in place to deal with Housing complaints and that staff were confident of clearing the backlog of work in the near future.
During Quarter 3 there were 11 decisions by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and the Housing Ombudsman.
The Committee noted the contents of the report and its appendices.