Press release from the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO):

People who want to raise concerns about adult social care in England can now benefit from a new arrangement between the sector’s regulator and ombudsman which will make it easier to complain.

The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have brought in new processes to transfer enquiries between the organisations, saving people’s time and reducing the need for people to repeat information.

The CQC is the independent regulator of health and social care services in England, and its job is to make sure health and adult social care services are providing safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and encourage care services to improve . As the social care ombudsman, the LGO looks at unresolved individual complaints about all social care services – both privately and publically arranged – and ensures that people are able to access a remedy when services let them down.

While the LGO and CQC have different remits for investigating social care issues, each organisation receives enquiries that should be directed towards the other body, which can be around 20 per day between the two.

Previously, people would have been advised to contact the other organisation themselves. But now, following the introduction of the new process, CQC and LGO can transfer callers directly, as well as share information securely so people do not have to repeat their details.

Dr Jane Martin, Local Government Ombudsman, said:

“This is a good example of one of the practical steps the ombudsman and the regulator are taking to help improve the customer experience.

“By working closer together we are making it easier for people to access our services, raise awareness of any issues and ultimately encourage improvement in care provision.”

Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care at CQC said:

”It is important to make sure that people are helped to pass their concerns or complaints about adult social care services to the right people to act on them with the minimum of fuss. The more hoops people have to go through, the less likely they are to report poor care. This new arrangement between CQC and the ombudsman will firmly put the people first.”