How to complain

Adult social care complaints

This page sets out our process for adult social care complaints.

To begin this process, read how to make a complaint.

Stage 1

Our policy is to resolve complaints about adult social care within 20 working days for most complaints. This may be extended for complex cases.

Upon receiving your complaint, we will appoint an investigating officer to look into your concerns and send you a full response.

If the complainant is represented by an advocate, we will deal directly with the advocate until the investigation is completed. If the complainant doesn't have an advocate, we will consider whether an advocate should be appointed. This will depend on the vulnerability of the complainant.

After stage 1

If you are not satisfied with the stage 1 response, you can refer your complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Complaints that involve more than one service

Sometimes complaints will cross boundaries between our social care services and those provided by the NHS. In these cases, a lead organisation will be appointed by joint arrangement to oversee the investigation and send you a full response.

Complaints about service providers

If your complaint is about an organisation we've commissioned to provide a service, you should:

  • tell the organisation that provides the service
  • tell them as soon as possible
  • give them a chance to put it right

If the problem is not fixed, you can make a complaint to us. We will investigate and respond to any complaints about adult social care services provided by organisations on our behalf. This process also helps us monitor the performance of organisations.

What the law says

Our process for adult social care complaints is governed in law by The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009.

These regulations say we are accountable for adult social care services we provide ourselves or arrange for other organisations to provide. We have a duty to investigate – or arrange investigation of – any complaint about these services.

As well as the general list of what you can't make a complaint about, the regulations don't cover:

  • when the initial contact is a request for service
  • when that complaint is not about social care services
  • anonymous complaints
  • concerns about safeguarding – keeping adults safe from abuse

Although not covered by law, we will review anonymous complaints and take action, if needed.

Safeguarding concerns will be referred to our Safeguarding Adults team.