Commission slates complaints reforms

The Commission for Social Care Inspection has joined local
authorities in urging the government to put on hold its reforms to
social services complaints procedures.


Board members last week urged a six-month delay to the
changes due to come into force in April. With final guidance
expected in February, councils will be given little time to
implement the changes.


Authorities say the proposal to reduce the number of stages from
three to two will be time-consuming and costly. Many say the
reforms are an unnecessary upheaval to an already effective


Consultations from the Department of Health and Department for
Education and Skills are due to be completed this month.


In a draft letter to the DoH seen by Community Care,
commission chair Denise Platt said: “[The reduction in the
number of stages] is widely seen as a distortion of existing good
practice, with no purpose other than that of achieving superficial
consistency with the NHS.”


The commission is also waiting for the government to confirm that
its independent review role in the complaints process will be fully


Platt’s letter says: “The commission’s ability to
deliver the proposals… is fundamentally dependent upon a
resolution of the negotiations between the commission and the DoH
concerning the full cost funding of the new

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