Issue - meetings

Complaints Report

Meeting: 29/09/2021 - Adult Social Care and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Item 9)

9 Annual Customer Services Feedback pdf icon PDF 215 KB

To provide a summary of the comments, compliments, complaints and questions submitted in relation to Adult Social Care services. 

Additional documents:


John Findlay introduced this item, to provide a summary of the comments, compliments, complaints and questions submitted in relation to Adult Social Care services.


The report set out the mechanisms available for customers to provide their feedback digitally, by telephone, face to face or by post.  Generally, over recent years the use of a digital self-account had increased and currently over 77% of responses were received this way.


There was a service level agreement (SLA) for timeliness of response to feedback classed as a question or a complaint. The report outlined how cases received by WCC were dealt with. During 2020/21, there were 593 cases assigned to teams which were within the remit of this report.  Of the cases assigned and processed during the period, just over 76% (77% of questions and 35.46% of complaints) were closed within the appropriate SLA.  The corporate SLA performance target for complaints was 70%. 

During 2020/21 there were 141 complaints closed by teams. Of those closed cases 50 (35.46%) achieved the SLA timeliness requirement. Most of the complaints raised focused on perceived issues with communication, financial issues and WCC service standards. Additionally, 20 complaints and enquiries relating to Adult Social Care were submitted to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, with decisions made on 17 and a breakdown was provided of the findings. Of those findings, five were subject to full investigation, two of which were not upheld and three were upheld.

The report set out how the Council learned from the feedback it received, including a breakdown of learning for cases raised during this reporting period.


Questions and comments were submitted, with responses provided as indicated:

  • A question about how services were learning and embedding changes. There were some IT system challenges and replacement of the complaints system, as part of a new customer relationship management system was being pursued actively. At the same time the cultural aspects would be looked at.
  • Some people had difficulty in navigating telephone systems which routed them to the correct service and could need additional support.  During the Covid-19 pandemic an 0800 ‘hotline’ was established. There was a ‘digital first’ approach, but it was known that some customers were unable to access services through this means and other access routes were provided. Accessing services was the Council’s responsibility, not the service users.
  • There was a need to communicate in plain English for those outside the organisation. Reference to the level of communication used by tabloid newspapers and it was questioned how the council presented its plans and strategies in a format for public consumption.
  • It was requested that a further update be provided to the committee in due course.




That the Overview and Scrutiny Committee considers and comments on the report as set out above.