Changes for council complaints panels

Council review panels that examine complaints against adult social services will need an independent majority, under government regulations issued last week (Adult social services complaints system made clearer, 29 June).

The regulations, which will come into force on 1 September, are the culmination of six years of efforts to reform the complaints procedures.

The Department of Health had wanted the Commission for Social Care Inspection to handle the review stage to ensure its independence.

But in a compromise measure, it has stipulated that the three-person panels should have at least two independent members.

Currently, councils only need to appoint one independent member, as panel chair.

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