Michael King, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, responded to the CQC’s State of Care report. He said:
“It is no surprise to hear that leadership is credited with maintaining good quality adult social care services. In my experience, when things do go wrong, it is strong leaders in organisations that empower their staff to respond quickly and confidently to complaints, which make the most of the learning opportunities from our investigations.
“The best leaders can foster a true learning culture, one in which complaints are actively owned at director and board level, where outcomes are analysed and to whom accountability rests for putting things right and making service improvements.
“Reviewing these complaint responses as a standing board item, or at regular scrutiny committees, would allow councils and care providers to show they proactively own the learning from complaints and are open to public scrutiny. How many can say they already do this?
“To raise a complaint, people have to overcome a number of barriers, perceived or real. So in the first instance councils and care providers need to ensure the complaints process is as visible and accessible as it can be.”
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigates all unresolved complaints about adult social care, including privately funded care. The Ombudsman works closely with CQC to inform its inspections by sharing its findings where an individual complaint may point to problems with overall standards of care.
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman will be publishing its Annual Review of Adult Social Care Complaints 2016/17 later this year.
Article date: 10 October 2017