Advice on comparing statistics across years

In 2022-23 we changed our investigation processes, contributing towards an increase in the average uphold rate across all complaints. Consider comparing individual council uphold rates against the average rate rather than against previous years.

In 2020-21 we received and decided fewer complaints than normal because we stopped accepting new complaints for three months due to Covid-19.

Kent County Council

Annual statistics ?Find out more about annual statistics

  • Complaints upheld

    87% of complaints we investigated were upheld.

    This compares to an average of 80% in similar authorities.

    53 upheld decisions

    Adjusted for Kent County Council's population, this is
    3.4 upheld decisions per 100,000 residents
    .

    The average for authorities of this type is
    3.4 upheld decisions per 100,000 residents.

    View upheld decisions

    Statistics are based on a total of 61 upheld decisions for the period between 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023

  • Compliance with Ombudsman recommendations

    100% of cases we were satisfied the Council had successfully implemented our recommendations.

    This compares to an average of 100% in similar authorities.

    Statistics are based on a total of 51 compliance outcomes for the period between 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023

  • Satisfactory remedies provided by the Council

    In 8% of upheld cases we found the Council had provided a satisfactory remedy before the complaint reached the Ombudsman.

    This compares to an average of 6% in similar authorities.

    4 satisfactory remedy decisions

    Statistics are based on a total of 53 detailed investigations for the period between 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023

    View all satisfactory remedy decisions

Annual letters

We write to councils each year to give a summary of the complaint statistics we record about them,
and their performance in responding to our investigations.

View annual letters

Public reports ?Find out more about public reports

In the last nine years, the Ombudsman has published the following public interest reports against Kent County Council

A Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation has uncovered a backlog of 170 unanswered children’s services and education complaints in Kent.

A Kent couple lost valuable time together after the council placed one partner in a care home against her wishes following a hospital stay, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is urging councils to place children at the centre of decision making in cross border child protection cases, after a suicidal teenager was left without appropriate support when she reported serious sexual abuse.

Councils across England are being urged to ensure they are using the correct legislation to issue parking fines at country parks following a Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation into Kent County Council.

Parents of children with disabilities should be supported to balance their care and working needs, the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has said.

5

Public reports for Kent County Council

View all

Service improvements ?Find out more about service improvements

Since April 2018, the Council has agreed to make the following improvements to its services following an Ombudsman investigation. We list up to 10 cases below – click ‘view all’ if there are more.

Case reference: 23 012 748

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • The Council will review its staff guidance and processes so EHC assessments and reassessments are completed on time and the Regulations and Code are followed when seeking advice, to include discussing the range of advice with parents and including their representations in documentation sent to professionals.
  • The Council will review its staff guidance and processes to ensure it monitors and reviews the level of education provided to children educated otherwise than at school and to ensure all provision and therapies are in place.
  • The Council will remind staff of the importance of complying with Ombudsman recommendations to avoid repeat complaints.

Case reference: 23 012 170

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • The Council will set up a process to manage annual reviews for EHC plans to ensure they are followed up on once a review has been completed.

Case reference: 23 010 994

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Charging

  • The Council will consider how it can improve communication between the finance team and adult social care team,with a view to prevent a similar situation arising again.
  • The Council will produce guidance for staff about managing debt for vulnerable adults.

Case reference: 23 010 806

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • Review its procedures and provide guidance to its staff to ensure decisions made to maintain, amend or cease Education, Health and Care Plan’s following reviews are issued within the statutory timescales.

Case reference: 23 011 351

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • The Council is carrying out a commissioning review to address failures to put in place physiotherapy and other therapies it set out in the Education Health and Care plans for children and young people in its area.

Case reference: 23 009 926

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • Produce an action plan to demonstrate how the council will meet statutory timescales for annual reviews.
  • Provide staff training to ensure they understand the legal framework and obligations in relation to the faults found.

Case reference: 23 008 311

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • The Council will issue written reminders to relevant staff to ensure they are aware children who receive alternative provision should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum where appropriate. The provision must also be of a standard a child would receive in school.

Case reference: 23 006 845

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • Share this decision with relevant staff, along with the Ombudsman’s focus report ‘Parent Power: learning from complaints about personal budgets’ (November 2023).
  • Remind staff to be alert to requests for personal budgets and direct payments so that the Council can properly consider these.

Case reference: 23 006 222

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • Share this decision with relevant staff, along with the Ombudsman’s focus report ‘Parent Power: learning from complaints about personal budgets’ (November 2023).
  • Remind staff to be alert to requests for personal budgets and direct payments so that the Council can properly consider these.

Case reference: 23 006 015

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Assessment and care plan

  • The Council will:a) remind and if appropriate provide training to staff members about1. the importance of including vulnerable people within the safeguarding process;2. assessing mental capacity in line with the safeguarding policy;3. providing an advocate in line with the safeguarding policy.
  • b) review how safeguarding concerns were acted on in this complaint in particular the initial delay after the November 2022 concern;
  • c) remind staff and the Care Provider about the importance of completing risk assessments when issues are raised.

151

Service improvements agreed by Kent County Council

View all

Last updated: 4 April 2015

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