The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has published his review of 12 months’ Adult Social Care investigations.
The Review of Adult Social Care Complaints looks at investigations the Ombudsman has conducted over the past 12 months across both public and independently funded care.
In the report, Ombudsman Paul Najsarek urges leaders to rigorously scrutinise those services provided to people who might otherwise be hidden in society to ensure they are performing well for those who may be unable to speak up for themselves.
The report highlights key cases from the past year. In one, more than 300 people in a north western borough were being provided with care calls lasting less than 15 minutes – barely enough time to provide the dignified care they were assessed as needing.
The review calls on the sector to listen to concerns and complaints – and use this intelligence to drive positive, cost-effective changes.
Now in its tenth year, the 2023 report sees the Ombudsman upholding three-quarters of the investigations it carries out in detail. However, complaints received have levelled off in recent years and the Ombudsman is pressing for care providers to up their game by including details about Ombudsman complaints in their policies and procedures.
Paul Najsarek said: “I urge senior leaders to give voice to the voiceless: those who cannot complain for themselves because they are unsupported, isolated or simply lack the capacity to do so.
“Where these vulnerable people are hidden from view, it is all the more important that leaders scrutinise the services they receive to shine a light on how they perform for the people they are meant to support. Putting people’s lived experiences at the heart of services should ensure they remain person-centred, despite the challenging climate.
“I encourage providers of care – however funded – to focus on the fundamentals: providing good quality, safe services with well-run complaint functions which identify opportunities to improve where challenges arise.”