Adults who fund their own social care now have the right to take complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO).
Previously self-funders have had to rely on providers’ own complaints procedure or the courts to settle disputes about their care, while those receiving local government funding had the right to complain to the ombudsman.
The ombudsman will now hear complaints from all those receiving services registered by the Care Quality Commission.
“Our new and existing powers combined will enable us to deal effectively with complaints that involve the actions of both local authorities and care providers,” said Local Government Ombudsman Tony Redmond.
“In most cases, we will only consider a complaint once the care provider has had a fair opportunity to put the situation right.”
The ombudsman said it anticipated hearing complaints on standards, fees and the quality of care.
The powers to address complaints from self-funders were given to the LGO last November. Health secretary Andrew Lansley campaigned for self-funders rights to redress to be included in the Labour government’s Health Act.
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