Adult services complaints

How to make an adult social care complaint

It is important that we hear feedback about your experiences of adult social care, so that we know what we are doing well and where we need to improve.

You don’t need to make a formal complaint to comment on your experiences. Feedback can be positive, negative or neutral. Compliments and comments are as important as complaints.

A complaint can cover;

  • any concerns you have about a service
  • or member of staff that have not met the standard you would expect

The Adult Social Care Statutory Complaints Procedure explains how we handle complaints. Or please read the Easy read Have your Say document

The procedure is different from the main Cornwall Council procedure.

If you are unhappy with a social care service, it's often worthwhile discussing your concerns early on with the provider of the service.

Most problems can be dealt with at this stage, but in some cases you may feel more comfortable speaking to someone not directly involved in your care.

How long do I have to make a complaint?

Complaints should normally be made within 12 months of an incident or of the matter coming to your attention.

The time limit can be extended provided;

  • you have good reasons for not making the complaint sooner
  • and it is possible to complete a fair investigation.

How can I make a complaint?

You can make a complaint;

  • verbally
  • in writing,
  • or by email

Please use the contact details below in the contact section to send your complaint.

If you make your complaint verbally, a record of your complaint will be made and you'll be provided with a written copy.

What if I am making a complaint on behalf of someone else?

If you are complaining on behalf of someone else, we must have their permission, in writing to investigate the complaint.

Who can make a complaint?

You can make a complaint to Adult Care and Support if we;

  • have done an assessment with you
  • give you a service
  • give you a direct payment or individual budget

If you're unhappy with;

  • a care home
  • or home care

and your care is funded or arranged by adult social care, you may wish to raise the issues with the care provider in the first.

But if you'd prefer not to do that, you can raise your concerns directly with us.

Getting help with your complaint

You don’t have to be alone when you make a complaint. You can choose someone you know to speak for you if you want to.

If you need help making your complaint, our complaints team can provide support. Please contact us using the contact details below for details.

What to expect

  • You should expect
  • an acknowledgement
  • and the offer of a discussion about the handling of your complaint

within three working days of receiving your complaint.

If you accept, the discussion will cover the period within which a response to your complaint is likely to be sent. There is no set timeframe and this will depend on the nature of your complaint.

If, in the end, the response is delayed for any reason, you will be kept informed.

Within the discussion we may ask you to clarify the details of your complaint, and your desired outcomes. The local manager handles investigating your complaint.

After investigation you will receive a written response from the local manager.

The response will set out;

  • the findings and, where appropriate, provide apologies
  • and information about what's being done as a result of your complaint.

It will include information about how the complaint has been handled and details of what to do if you are unhappy with the result.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

You can contact the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman at any time. It is usually recommended that you go through our complaints procedure first.


Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

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