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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