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Advice on comparing statistics across years

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

Suffolk County Council

Annual statistics ?Find out more about annual statistics

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.

Annual letter archive

Public reports ?Find out more about public reports

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

A Suffolk girl did not receive vital Occupational Therapy for nearly two years because of council confusion, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.

Councils are being reminded by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman that vulnerable people can choose who supports them through care reviews, after Suffolk County Council halted assessments for a couple’s care and support plans because of a dispute.

An autistic teenager was moved from her residential special school midway through her studies because of poor planning by Suffolk County Council, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has found.

A Suffolk woman, who was charged for homecare despite workers falsifying records, should have some of her fees refunded, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has said.

4

Public reports for Suffolk County Council

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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: 21 008 105

Category: Education

Sub Category: Alternative provision

  • The Council will issue written reminders to relevant staff to ensure they are aware of the timescales to finalise an EHC plan after an annual review
  • The Council will issue written reminders to relevant staff to ensure they are aware of the Council’s duties under section 19 of theEducation Act 1996 to provide provision orsuitable education for children of compulsory age who cannot attend schoolbecause of exclusion, medical reasons or otherwise.

Case reference: 21 008 028

Category: Children's care services

Sub Category: Adoption

  • The Council will remind its officers that adoption-related concerns may be the subject of a complaint under the children's statutory complaints procedure.

Case reference: 21 007 224

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Safeguarding

  • The Council has agreed to ensure that, in future, the person raising concerns is updated, as appropriate, on progress with safeguarding enquiries
  • The Council has agreed to ensure the Care Provider is clear how to deal with safeguarding situations in future
  • The Council has agreed to review the information provided to care providers generally about dealing with safeguarding to ensure other care providers are not likely to make a similar error

Case reference: 20 011 531

Category: Education

Sub Category: COVID-19

  • The Council will provide the Ombudsman with an update on its progress with the action plan it developed following the independent review of its SEND service in 2021.
  • The Council will remind officers investigating complaints about the Ombudsman’s ‘Guidance on Effective Complaint Handling in Local Authorities’ which gives advice on what to include in decision letters.

Case reference: 21 007 265

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • The Council agreed to provide training to special educational needs staff to ensure awareness of the Council's legal duties under the Education Act 1996 and the expectations set out in the Ombudsman's focus report.

Case reference: 21 005 081

Category: Education

Sub Category: Special educational needs

  • The Council will remind relevant staff of the importance of issuing EHC plans within the timescales set out in the code of practice.

Case reference: 21 003 447

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Direct payments

  • The Council has agreed to review its processes to ensure that any changes to direct payments are clearly communicated and only take effect following a review.

Case reference: 21 002 940

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Direct payments

  • The Council agreed to remind staff to refer complainants to the Ombudsman in all final complaint responses. The referral should include details of how complainants can complain to us.

Case reference: 21 002 326

Category: Education

Sub Category: Alternative provision

  • The Council has agreed to improve its process to assess children are receiving the correct provision.

Case reference: 21 001 703

Category: Adult care services

Sub Category: Domiciliary care

  • the Council will remind staff (including management) to speak to the person who is the subject of a safeguarding referral or enquiry.
  • the Council will remind staff (including management) to make sure they tell the person who is the subject of a safeguarding referral or enquiry the outcome, regardless of whether they are the person who made the referral.

40

Service improvements agreed by Suffolk County Council

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Last updated: 4 April 2015