Ombudsman issues guidance to councils and care providers

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has today (Monday) issued guidance to those working for local authorities and care providers about good administrative practice and handling complaints during the Covid-19 crisis.

Available on the Ombudsman’s website, the guidance sets out the basic principles the Ombudsman expects organisations to use to underpin their work during this crisis. The Ombudsman will use these principles when it considers complaints about actions during the Covid-19 crisis.

Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said:

“The new guidance is designed to act as a compass for local authorities and care providers, and I hope will provide reassurance about how they should be working during this crisis.

“While we recognise the unique pressures currently placed on councils and care providers, we still expect them to respond appropriately to any complaints during this time of national emergency.

“We understand their responses may look different to those we would normally expect, but councils and care providers should still pay close attention to urgent and serious public concerns.”

The Ombudsman suspended all casework activity that demands information from, or action by, local authorities and care providers in March to allow those organisations to concentrate on their response to the crisis. It is working with key stakeholders to monitor the situation and will reengage with councils, care providers and complainants when it becomes appropriate, and government guidance allows.

Article date: 04 May 2020

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