Agenda item

Adult Social Care Complaints and Representations Annual Report 2022/23

Report of the Director of Adults and Housing


The Cabinet Member considered a report of the Director of Adult Services and Housing that considered Adult Social Care Complaints and Representations Annual Report 2022/23.


Adult Services have a statutory duty arising from the Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009, to provide a system for receiving complaints and representations from people who use its services, or those acting on behalf of service users. The system provides a means for listening to the views of those who use or are affected by adult services and for resolving issues arising. Where things have gone wrong it enables the Council to put things right, learn from the experience and make the necessary improvements.


There is also a duty under the regulations to produce and publish an annual report which set out the details of the complaints and representations across Coventry’s Adult Services in 2022/23. It highlighted the service improvements and learning from feedback and included information on future developments in complaint handling and reporting.


The Head of Adult Care and Support recognised that while the number of complaints have slightly increased, this is largely due to the increased number of support ASC is now providing compared to last year. There have also been marginal changes in the number of complaints upheld and partially upheld with a large number withdrawn once contact has been made. Additionally, the time to investigate complaints does remain static although the vast majority are dealt with within 20 working days. Also, those seeking the ombudsman process have slightly reduced compared to last year with 3 cases being upheld, 1 being withdrawn, and 1 resulting in a pay out to the complainant.


In summary, it was emphasised that ASC receives far more compliments than complaints, as highlighted in the report, but any complaints that are received are taken very seriously. In conjunction to this, the Cabinet Member thanked officers for including the percentage differences between compliments and complaints in the report as being crucial indicators for the work currently being done in ASC.


The Cabinet, Deputy and Shadow Cabinet Member asked questions, sought assurances and received responses on a number of matters including:

·  What advice is likely to be given to social workers in terms of carers assessments? Options to take independent assessments.

·  Incidents occurring on secured properties – likely 1 complaint regarding not securing a property upon departure but an extremely sensitive issue in terms of ensuring our city residents feel safe and secure when we enter and exit their homes. Even if 1 complaint has been received it is important that is processed as a companywide theme and that we send out a reminder.

·  An increasing trend of people feeling unsafe – feelings of unsafety spanning many areas outside of ASC remit but ensuring that we do our bit to consistently safeguard service users and make them feel safe.

·  How far advanced is the internal centralised database to capture all learning points?

·  What have the concerns been regarding communication, any trends with workers having communication issues, and the training provided to mitigate communication complaints? – often dealing with service users under very difficult circumstances where minor lapses in communication can magnify stresses. However, where employees conduct themselves unacceptably those complaints are taken very seriously and dealt with on a case-by-case basis where standards have clearly been set and communicated.


The Cabinet Member gave her thanks to officers for both comprehensive reports and the continued efforts being made by staff throughout ASC.


RESOLVED that the Cabinet Member for Adult Services approves publication of the Council’s Annual Report in relation to complaints and representations in Adult Social Care for 2022/23.

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