Social services complaints upheld in one third of decisions by ombudsmen

Complaints against social services in England were successful in a third of decisions made last year by the country’s local government ombudsmen.

The three ombudsmen received 1,449 complaints against social services in 2005-6, up 0.5 per cent from the previous year, according to their annual review published today, and have so far made 805 decisions.

In 273 of these 805 cases the outcome led to redress for complainants, such as findings of maladministration against councils or local settlements, while in 235 cases the ombudsmen decided there was no or insufficient maladministration by councils. They did not pursue 297 complaints against social services.

The biggest increase in complaints came in the education sector, where the number rose 22.6 per cent to 1,647.

Complaints about school admissions accounted for more than 60 per cent of the education total.

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