Agenda item



The report before Members considered the Adult Social Care Annual Complaints Report 2017/18 which was appended to the report as appendix 1.


Highlights of the report included:


Adult Social Care complaints had decreased slightly in 2017/18 (108) by 11% from 2016/17 (121) with a 13% decrease in formal (75 in 17/18 from 86 in 16/17) and 6% in informal complaints (33 in 17/18 from 35 in 16/17) The number of enquiries however had increased in 2017/18 (34) by 47% from 2016/17 (18).


Ombudsman enquiries had increased slightly from 8 in 2016/17 to 9 in 2017/18. Of these, two were found to be maladministration injustice with penalty regarding financial implications on change of service, one no maladministration after investigation. The remaining enquiries were either closed after initial enquiries, out of jurisdiction or premature.


The highest number of complaints received was for external home care. The total commissioned hours for Adult Social Care for 2017/18 was 707,593 with 15,884 of those hours representing 2% of complaints involving external home care.


The main reason for complaints ‘level of service’ still remained around disputes on charges, linked to level and quality of service.  There were also issues regarding delays in equipment and services and financial assessments/funding.  During 2017/18 there were changes in Adult Social Care teams involving a realignment of cases which had an impact and also the Financial Assessment & Benefits Team developed a backlog of assessments to be completed (now resolved)


The number of complaints upheld in 2017/18 was 51 with 52 not being upheld and five being withdrawn.  With the introduction of the new social care system in February 2019 the Complaints & Information Team would be able to improve management information, including better categorisation of outcomes to indicate where a complaint is fully upheld, partially upheld or not upheld. 


Overall response times still needed to improve, however those that had been responded to within 10 working days improved with 25 being responded, 11-20 working days was at the same level of 32 as 2016/17 and those responded to over 20 working days reduced to 50 in 2017/18 as opposed to 76 in 2016/17.


Complainants preferred method of contact is via email, letter and telephone.  With the new social care system, this may move more towards online with the introduction of the social care portal.


Compliments had decreased by 21% from 62 in 16/17 to 49 in 2017/18.  Satisfaction surveys may be re-introduced and teams were reminded to send in compliments to log, which should bring compliments back up in the following year.


Member enquiries had declined from 91 in 2016/17 to 68 in 17/18 with 88% being responded to within timescale.


Members noted the contents of the report and the continued work in resolving and learning from complaints and the challenges faced by the service with increasing demands.


Members noted the actions identified to improve services and the continued monitoring by the Service and the Complaints & Information Team to ensure these were implemented evidencing service improvements and with a view to reducing similar complaints.


Members noted the positive feedback to services by way of compliments received and highlighting good practice.




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