Networking: helping practitioners and service users connect with like-minded people

This week’s network hub: The National Complaints Managers Group
Founded: May 1996

History: The constitution of the National Complaints Managers Group (formerly National Complaints Officers Group) was agreed on 17 May 1996. The original purpose of the group was “to provide a national group so that representatives from regional groups can meet to discuss practice, policy, procedures and legislation in respect of complaints procedures”. By being able to demonstrate a national voice, complaints officers became involved in Department of Health/Local Government Ombudsman national working groups. Direct links were established with relevant sections within Department of Health, Local Government Ombudsman and the Association of Directors of Social Services.

Members: The forum represents the adult and children and families social care complaints managers from local authorities in England. There are eight regional groups. Two representatives from each regional group attend national group meetings.

Fees: There are no fees.

Mission: The national group uses its knowledge and experiences to improve best practice, share information, advise, and influence locally and nationally.

Main activities: The group is task-focused. Several specific reports have been completed on current national issues. The national group has arranged training seminars, and its work is forwarded to the membership representing good practice.

Regional groups: Each has its own constitution based largely on the national constitution and its own programme in terms of developing good practice.

Good practice examples: A great deal of what is in recent complaints legislation and guidance documents reflects its influence, involvement and strength in deliberations.

Contact: Gill Winn, chair, National Complaints Managers Group.

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