Complaints involving Covid-19

We are the final stage for complaints about councils, all adult social care providers (including care homes and home care agencies) and some other organisations providing local public services. We are a free service. We investigate complaints in a fair and independent way - we do not take sides.

How we will investigate complaints involving Covid-19/Coronavirus

COVID-19 had a major and long-lasting impact on a range of council and care provider services. The normal service provided by these organisations may have been significantly and unavoidably disrupted during this period of crisis and national emergency. We will take this into account in our investigations.  

New legislation and government guidance was issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance changed during the period of crisis. These changes affected the way councils and care providers worked during the crisis.

When we investigate complaints about what happened during the pandemic we will carefully consider whether the relevant legislation and guidance current at that time was followed in the particular circumstances of the complaint.

We will consider what was sensible and appropriate to expect from a council or care provider in all the circumstances of the matter complained about. We will ask what should have happened, given the context of the complaint, and the law and guidance in place at that time.

We expect councils and care providers to have acted within law and guidance unless there were clear, compelling, and relevant reasons to do something else. We expect appropriate record keeping, delegation, decision making, and other principles of good administrative practice, appropriate for operation during a crisis. We take account of what was reasonable to expect from councils and care providers in the context of the pandemic. We published guidance on our expectations in our policy on “Good Administrative Practice during the response to COVID-19

We are collecting information about complaints that involve COVID-19 which will we be available to the future national inquiry.  This means we may need to keep some information about such complaints for longer than normal. We anonymise all our published decisions. Individual complainants cannot be identified from them

January 2023


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