The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) is the body to whom you can complain about Councils, Care Homes and Care Agencies.
They have published their annual review of Adult Social Care complaints which identifies that complaints about Residential Care have increased by 21% and Home Care by 25%.
Full details of their report can be accessed through this link: http://www.lgo.org.uk/information-centre/news/2016/nov/ombudsman-s-annual-review-highlights-concerns-about-quality-of-homecare
Whilst the LGO acknowledges financial pressures faced by councils and providers they believe this is not an acceptable excuse for poor practice. Their investigations into complaints have found patient centred care has often been put at a lower priority than the pressures facing the organisation providing the care.
How is care failing?
With regard to residential care, the main issue for complaint seems to be the fact that the care is not patient centred and there is poor communication, with residents, families as well as health and social care commissioners. An example was given of a complaint to the LGO about residential care which led to a resident being admitted to Hospital for dehydration because the Care Home failed to monitor his fluid intake.
The common complaints made about Home Care included the carers changing too often, being late, cancelling visits or not staying long enough to provide the right help. The report highlighted concerns about the commissioning of 15 minutes care visits and referred to the Guidance published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Veronica Male says “People are entitled to have good quality care that meets their needs and should be supported to complain when they do not receive this. The increase in complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman shows that there is a real problem with Care Agencies and Care Homes failing to deliver patient centred care. Poor care can often lead to poor health and this is not acceptable”
Are many complaints upheld?
Dr Jane Martin, Local Government Ombudsman said:
"Our complaints show that for people receiving care in their homes, it’s often the little things that mean so much to them in maintaining their dignity, independence and a good quality of life. Consistency of care is vital to those who rely on these services... we are still upholding nearly two thirds of home care complaints. This is too many”
If you have any concerns about the level of care that your loved one is receiving in a Care Home , or have noticed signs of neglect, Talk to Tollers on 0333 414 9123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .