More than 2,500 complaints were made to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) about council-led social care services in England last year.
A new report from the LGO shows that adult social care made up 15% of all complaints made about councils between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019. Some included cases involving housing adaptations.
There were 2,555 complaints about adult social care during this period, a 2% drop from the previous year. Of these, 66% were upheld, compared to 61% in 2017/18.
Essex County Council was the most complained about local authority when it came to adult social care, with 70 issues raised to the LGO, followed by Norfolk County Council, with 60.
Fifty-eight complaints were made about Lancashire County Council’s adult social care service, while 56 were made about Kent County Council and 54 about Birmingham City Council.
Alongside its annual review of complaints, the LGO has launched an interactive map to make each council’s complaints information easily available.
The map collates the annual letters the Ombudsman sends to each local authority, how often they have complied with Ombudsman recommendations, the improvements they have agreed to implement, and published decisions all in one place.
Over the period, councils accepted and put in place Ombudsman recommendations in 99.4% of cases.
Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, said: “All too often conversations about complaints focus on the raw numbers. We believe there is a much more productive discussion to be had about the outcomes of those complaints, the real-world improvements made and the lessons that can be shared.
“For the first time, we’re publishing all the ‘service improvements’ we’ve recommended; and the rate at which councils have taken them on board. And to help share these lessons more widely and encourage scrutiny, we’ve launched an online map, putting each council’s data just one click away
“The new map is a mine of searchable information that can be used by council officers to learn from complaints, councillors to scrutinise complaints and decisions about their authorities, and residents to hold their local authorities to account.”