How to complain about care to your local council
If you want to challenge a decision regarding your care or have a complaint about the care you’ve received, you have certain rights.
What can I complain to my local council about?
You can complain about anything that your local council does if it directly affects your care. This includes if:
- the council has assessed you as not needing a service but you believe you need it.
- there have been delays or errors in dealing with your case.
- the services arranged for you are not meeting your needs.
- you’re being asked to wait a long time for equipment or adaptations.
How do I complain or appeal to my local council?
Firstly, you should try to resolve the problem by having an informal conversation about it with the local social services department. You should have been given the name of somebody to talk to if you have a problem.
If you’re not happy with the outcome, ask for a copy of your local council's formal complaints procedure. Each council must have one and make it available to the public. You can find it on your local council website.
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If your care is provided by an independent agency on behalf of the council, you can still complain to the council about any difficulties, as the council remains responsible for making sure you receive suitable care.
If you want to complain about the registered provider of a social care service, you can also inform the Care Quality Commission, which regulates social care services in England. While they can’t help you directly, they may decide to investigate the care provider or enforce changes as a result.
What if I’m unhappy with the outcome of my complaint?
Your views and wishes should be respected and you should be treated with dignity at all times. If you’re unhappy with the outcome of the complaints procedure carried out by your local council, you can go to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
If you fund your own care and you need to make a complaint, contact the Ombudsman and ask about its independent complaints review service.
What should I do if I’ve been mistreated?
If you experience any kind of mistreatment by someone who is caring for you, contact your local council. They have a duty to follow up concerns.
You can also contact Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65 or call the Action on Elder Abuse confidential helpline to discuss the situation.
We're here to help
We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 055 6112. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 140 local Age UKs.