Adult Social Care

Example: Maureen’s family were becoming increasingly concerned that she was not being cared for properly at the home she was in. In particular they felt that she was being left to sit in a chair with no stimulation for considerable lengths of time, and was losing weight because she was not eating properly.

The adult social care system is very complicated, and we would advise you to speak the matter through with an advisor on our Helpline (0845 608 44 55) prior to pursuing a complaint.

There are three main ways of funding social care for adults, and as a result three separate ways of complaining. If you are unsure as to how care is being funded you should ask your care provider:

Publically funded care

Your first step should be to complain directly to the institution that is providing the care, to try and reach a local resolution to your concerns.

However if this is not successful you should contact the Adult Social Care department of the local authority that is funding the care.

Privately funded care

As with publically funded care, your first step should be writing to the institution that provided the care.

If this fails to resolve your concerns, you should contact the Independent Healthcare Advisory Service (IHAS) on 0207379 8598.

NHS continuing Care

If someone is in need of care but suffers from medical conditions which are ongoing, care may be funded by the NHS.

In these circumstances complaints should follow the NHS complaints system.

The role of the Local Government Ombudsmen

The Local Government Ombudsman has always had responsibility for investigating adult social care complaints where the care was being privately funded.

However since October 2010 the Ombudsman has also been able to investigate complaints where the care was privately funded as well.

The Local Government Ombudsman can be contacted on 0300 061 0614.




Helpline: 0845 608 4455   Email:

The Patients Association, PO Box 935, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 3YJ

T: 020 8423 9111   F: 020 8423 9119   E:

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