Complaints about adult social care in Bucks drop

Bucks County Council

Published by Charlotte Fisher at 1:08pm 13th June 2018. (Updated at 6:42am 14th June 2018)

The number of complaints to Buckinghamshire County Council about adult social care services drop. 

More than a third of Buckinghamshire County Council's entire budget is spent on social care for adults and things don't go right all the time.

That's why the Council has a statutory duty to record complaints and deal with them effectively.

In 2016/17 the complaints tally was 78 while expressions of praise hit 107.

Last year (2017/18) there were 54 complaints compared to 130 compliments.

Lin Hazell, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, is in charge of dealing with the public's feedback and puts it down to a changing culture and a determination by County Council staff to get things right or find a way to put them right.

Lin Hazell said:

"We know we don't always get everything right, but we are always trying to move forward and deliver improvements in the service we offer so it's really nice when our staff get recognition for their hard work."

Adult social care staff often deal with clients, or their family members, having a much more difficult time, so any praise is hard earned.

Statutory Complaints Officer at the Council, Amy Castielli, who collates the complaints and compliments for adult social care said:

"In the three or four years that I have been working here we have seen the number of compliments being recorded double and I believe we are still not recording all the compliments that would give a true picture of the good job staff are doing.

"A lot of the time staff don't think anything of the praise because they think they were just doing their job, and they might be right. However, the thank-yous are really heartfelt because the staff have made a real difference to people's lives.

"They should blow their own trumpet a bit because they are doing a great job."

Some of the compliments Amy records, shows adult social care staff being praised as 'compassionate', 'hard-working', 'supportive', 'empathetic', 'thorough', 'patient', 'practical', 'kind', 'professional', 'helpful', 'efficient', 'caring', 'cheerful' and 'sympathetic'.

They are thanked for offering 'invaluable advice', 'assistance' 'guidance' or 'comfort', and for their 'integrity', 'humanity' and being 'the best thing since sliced bread'.

Amy said:

"Some of the calls and letters I receive are really emotive. You know sometimes you read something and it really hits home? The messages often show people who were going through a really tough time and who were helped through it by our people, and it means a lot."

 "It's always nice to read the compliments but first I see the complaints and it's just as nice when they are dealt with well; when the outcome is positive and you end up with a compliment out of a complaint, so the whole situation has been turned around.

"It can be draining when you read complaints and know that something has gone wrong, but it is also quite positive when you can help to put it right."

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