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If you have a complaint about the care you’ve received or want to challenge a decision regarding your care, you have certain rights.

On this page, we’ll explain:

What can I complain to my local authority about?

You can complain about anything that your local authority does if it directly affects your care. This includes if:

  • the local authority 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 authority?

Firstly, you should try to resolve the problem by having an informal conversation about it with the service provider, such as a care home manager, or your 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 authority’s formal complaints procedure. Each local authority must have one and make it available to the public. You can find it on your local authority website.

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.

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.


What if I’m unhappy with the outcome of my complaint?

If you’re unhappy with the outcome of the complaints procedure carried out by your local authority, you can go to the Local Government Ombudsman. You have the right to have your views and wishes respected and to be treated with dignity at all times.

There are also new rights of complaint for self-funders of care services. 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, should contact your local authority. 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.

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 169 2081

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