Over the past year, the ombudsman has become increasingly concerned about the way some authorities are handling the need to balance the pressures they are under with the way they assess and charge for care.
The report, which looks at the data behind every adult social care complaint the Ombudsman has received over the 12-month period, shows there has been a nine per cent increase in complaints about charging and that of those complaints, it is upholding 67% – higher than the average uphold rate for adult social care of 62%, and greater still than the 57% uphold rate for all complaints the Ombudsman investigates.
Key Areas of Concern Leading to Complaints
- Assessment and care planning.
- How care is paid for.
- Problems with whole systems and individual organisation’s policies being wrongly applied.
Over the past year, the ombudsman has made 274 recommendations to authorities and providers to improve procedures or undertake staff training – a 19% increase on the previous year.
Andrea Sutcliffe CBE, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care for the CQC said “These are challenging times for adult social care with pressure on resources, increasing demands and workforce shortages all having an impact on the quality and consistency of care that people receive.
“In these circumstances, it’s more important than ever that those in charge of running and commissioning care services actively listen and learn from people’s experiences, concerns and complaints.
“CQC sees regular evidence of this in the four-fifths of adult social care services currently rated as good or outstanding across the country, but as this report from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman once again highlights, this isn’t the case for everyone.
“Ensuring complaints policies are accessible, that people know how to raise issues, their concerns are responded to and any promised action gets sorted is all part of delivering truly responsive and well-led care. Where we find that isn’t happening, CQC will take action in the interests of people, their families and carers, who deserve better.”