Surveys and consultations
We’ve continued to request feedback from people who receive care and support from us so that we can monitor our performance and improve services where needed. This year, due to our focus on responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, we didn’t conduct the annual citizen survey, however, you will find examples of other surveys and consultations throughout this report.
Consultation and engagement has had to give way to our Covid-19 response this year, but is something that we’ll pick up again when our capacity to do so is restored.
Complaints and compliments about our services
These provide us with direct feedback from people who receive our services, and their families. They highlight areas where we are doing well, and also where we can improve our practices. Receiving a complaint means that we can:
- Acknowledge them quickly when we make mistakes
- Put them right and apologise where appropriate
- Ensure we learn lessons from complaints
Due to the way we report on complaints and compliments in social care, we are providing you with a summary of our performance from 2019-20.
The number of formal complaints received by the department during 2019-20 was 25, with 24 at stage one and only one at stage two of the process. This mirrors last year’s performance and represents 0.35% of people receiving support within adults’ services and 1.4% of people within children’s services.
The number of complaints received by our individual service areas is dependent on the types and nature of the service being provided. Our Family Support and Intervention Service, for example, is an emotive area, with social workers and families dealing with early concerns around the well-being and safety of children. Our business support and other back-office teams are generally not public facing, and by virtue of this, don’t receive as many complaints.
64% of the complaints received during 2019-20 were from family members, with the remaining 36% from individuals themselves.
The topics varied, but 9 out of the 25 complaints were regarding a perceived lack of communication from us, and 6 were around the attitude or behaviour of a staff member. Further work will be undertaken around classifying themes in order to analyse any trends or recurring events over time.
The timescales for resolving formal complaints have seen a considerable improvement. 87.5% of the stage one complaints were completed within 15 working days, in comparison to 54.2% in 2018/19. Similarly the timescales in regards to stage two Independent Investigations, within 25 working days, has risen from 0% in 2018/19 to 100% in 2019/20. However, to put this in context, we only had one stage two investigation in each year, with the investigation in 2019-20 completed within the specified timescale.
We have seen a further reduction in relation to the expenditure on stage two complaints; £869.10 for 2019/20, compared with £3,540.80 for 2018/19, and £17,966 for 2017/18.
There has been a slight decline in the number of compliments received by the department; a total of 190 for 2019-20 compared with 216 during 2018-19 (this may be related to the onset of the pandemic). 85% of these were for adults’ services; here are some examples.
Thank you so much for taking care of our precious Nana. You do an amazing job, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
The service went beyond my expectations. The staff were pleasant, kind and courteous, and the quality of care was exceptional.
The remaining compliments were for children’s services, like the following:
Just wanted to say thank you so much, not just for today, but for everything. I couldn’t ask for a better social worker.
My experience with everyone I’ve worked with has been amazing and [they’ve] helped me so much with X, thank you so much.
I just want to say a big thank you to the out-of-hours social worker (X), very professional, calm and understanding.