Issue - meetings

Annual Report on the Social Services Representations and Complaints Procedure 2014-15

Meeting: 18/06/2015 - Social & Health Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Item 14)

14 Annual Report on the Social Services Representations and Complaints Procedure 2014-15 pdf icon PDF 110 KB

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(a)       That the report be noted;


(b)       That the recommendations/suggestions made by the Committee be taken forward; and


(b)       That officers be encouraged to share details on compliments received for their service areas.


The Senior Manager: Commissioning and Performance introduced the annual report on compliments, representations and complaints received by Adult and Children Social Services for the year 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015.  The information included a breakdown of complaints between service areas, and details of how these were resolved, timescales and outcomes.  Whilst there was a statutory duty on councils to adopt their own complaints procedure, the approach taken by Flintshire also included a more independent and personal element by listening to the views of service users and to learn from them.


Social Services for Adults


The Complaints Officer gave an overview of statistics for Adult Social Services for which 56 complaints had been received out of a total of 4,182 service users supported during the period.  As detailed in the report, the Disability Service Manager explained that the increase in complaints for the Learning Disability Service was due to the introduction of a toolkit assessment which calculated the number of respite nights for families.  Some of the 80 individuals assessed had seen a reduction in their allocation, however it was noted that a series of independent review panels chaired by an external independent person had upheld every decision made by the Council through this assessment.  It was reported that 95% of the complaints had been resolved within the required timescale for Stage 1 of the process; where this was not met, the complainant had been kept informed of progress.


On the Learning Disability Service, Councillor Hilary McGuill asked about the frequency of reviewing individuals’ needs/situations.  The Disability Service Manager explained that the statutory requirement was for a formal review to be undertaken annually, and that this would also be instigated for any reported changes in circumstances.  She confirmed that the complaints for that service area were mainly due to the recent changes implemented on respite provision and would therefore expect to see a reduction next year.


The Senior Manager: Commissioning and Performance explained that the review formed part of the efficiency programme and that individuals were assessed against the revised framework.


In response to a question from Councillor Mike Lowe, the Disability Service Manager said that there had been no further challenge from the complainants to the outcomes of the assessment, following the independent panel reviews.  However, she said that each case was considered individually and gave an example where respite allocation had been adjusted to support the situation of an individual.


The Complaints Officer highlighted the increase in the number of compliments received since 2013-14, but felt that the figure could be higher still due to reluctance by some officers to share this information.  Councillor Dave Mackie stressed the importance of capturing as much as this data as possible and encouraged officers to pursue this.  The Complaints Officer felt that the majority of compliments were being recorded and that managers and staff were regularly reminded of the need to supply this data.


Councillor Andy Dunbobbin welcomed the increase in compliments relating to Mental Health and Substance Misuse and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14