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Rise in complaints about quality of social care assessments

What is the reason for the rise in the number of ombudsman complaints regarding social care and NHS continuing Healthcare assessments?

The local government ombudsman has reported a significant rise in complaints regarding how assessments for Continuing Healthcare and social care needs have been carried out in the last year. The nature of these complaints correlates directly with our own experiences at Compass, with concerns received from families regarding how their loved one’s cases are handled by the NHS and social services.

Why are such complaints increasing?

A common theme to the complaints seems to be regarding unnecessary and untimely delays to an assessment process. This is something we often experience ourselves, and it is frustrating for families when the parties involved in awarding funding go against the guidelines laid out by the National Framework.

Another notable trend is that families often feel ignored, or that their opinions are disregarded. Again, how frustrating it is that the NHS ignores the comments and opinions regarding the assessed person, made by those who know them best. That does not suggest a fully comprehensive assessment. We also have experience with families who have not even been notified of, let alone invited to, an assessment being carried out. Again, this contravenes the National Framework and leaves families feeling upset, frustrated and unable to trust the parties involved in the process.

Should I be involved in any decision making process?

Local authorities are now, due to the Care Act introduced in April 2015, legally obligated to involve people in an assessment process for care funding. This is important, as it abides by the ‘transparent rationale’ that the NHS must now use when carrying out assessment processes, and it follows that local authorities should use such rationale also.

The same principle goes for NHS Continuing Healthcare assessments. If you are not invited to attend any assessment you have a right to request that it is carried out again. Any assessment panel must consider the comments and opinions of a patient’s family.

How can the Compass Continuing Healthcare team help?

Contact an expert member of the Compass CHC team for a free, no obligation confidential discussion of your options. We can be contacted on 0121 227 8940 or you can complete our free assessment here and an expert member of our team will contact you.

Author: Tim Davies LLB

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