Love Your Complaints

2014 - 2015 saw an 18% increase in the number of complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman about social care*. Horror!! Or is it?

Complaints are an opportunity to learn; they are an essential part of a feedback mechanism, so an increase could be indicative of improved feedback mechanisms rather than deteriorating service. The Ombudsman reports that 37% of complaints were referred directly back to the providers or commissioners because they hadn't had an opportunity to respond.

According to the Ombudsman, the learning points for the industry are:

  1. Tell your stakeholders how to raise a concern.
  2. Have an open and transparent, simple, clear complaints procedure, with stages and timescales for response.
  3. Tell your stakeholders where and how they can get redress; signpost them to the Local Government Ombudsman.
  4. Have an open door approach: if a complaint comes to you, even if it isn't your fault or your domain, deal with it. Contact the relevant people and try to coordinate a response; don't leave the end user trying to navigate a complex maze of multi agency support.

What is your complaints procedure? Feedback  mechanisms are our business; for help with managing stakeholder feedback, contact us on 

*LGO Annual Review of Adult Social Care Complaints, published November 2015. Reported in CMM Dec 2015.