The number of complaints made about adult social care services provided by City of York Council almost doubled over the last year.
This includes three complaints graded as ‘red’ – compared to zero the previous year, according to the council’s annual complaints report for the period April 2021 to March 2022.
The report notes an increase in the number of complaints about disagreements with assessments, a lack of action and the quality of advice and communication.
There were 42 complaints made during 2021/2022, up from 28 the year before – though In 2019/2020, there were 53 complaints.
Two recent complaints made about adult care services were escalated to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, which investigates complaints made about local councils.
In one case, the council agreed to pay a £200 fine after failing to communicate properly about payments for social outings after a woman’s father entered hospital.
In another, the council accepted there were delays in financial assessments and reviews of a woman with learning disabilities’ care, errors in the transport provision, and a failure to carry out a carers’ assessment. The council agreed to pay out £500.
The council spent more than £8,500 compensating complainants in 2021/2022.
In its annual report, the council said larger numbers of complaints “can be partly a reflection that the procedures we have in place are accessible and customers are supported to make complaints which provide invaluable feedback.”
There were also 37 compliments registered in the last year and the council noted that not all compliments are recorded.
The report added: “Complaints provide senior managers with useful information in respect of the way that services are delivered, so that improvements can be made.”
Changes made as a result of complaints include the introduction of an autism training course for all social care staff working with customers on the audit spectrum.