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In the News | Latest annual review from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

The latest annual review from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is now available, and it provides a stark warning to local authorities that the law still applies, even when resources are tight.

Of the complaints that they investigated 66% found fault compared to 43% back in 2010, with complaints about charging for care and transport seeing the biggest increase.

The Ombudsman is finding that the complaints they are dealing with are more serious, and this is certainly refl ected in the issues that our clients bring to us which are also taking much longer to resolve.

The review focuses on how the Ombudsman can provide wider service improvements alongside individual remedies. One example of the 559 recommendations for service improvements required a local authority to contact service users who had received a reablement service since April 2015 and refund their charges – one complaint had provided a remedy for many others who had been unaware of their rights.

The review also includes figures for the percentage of complaints that are upheld against individual local authorities. Local ‘upheld’ rates include: Birmingham City Council 64%, Worcester 67%, Northampton 67%, Leicester 56% and Warwickshire a worrying 75%. Top marks for Coventry City Council who had no complaints about them upheld.

***In other Ombudsman news*** the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s (PHSO) most recent quarterly review shows that 46% of health complaints are upheld. And the PHSO is not immune to judicial review – the latest annual review shows that there were 24 pre-action letters and 12 applications for judicial review

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