Dozens of complaints about Nottinghamshire Council lodged with watchdog

Dozens of complaints about Nottinghamshire Council were lodged with a local government watchdog last year, figures show.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 4:00 pm

The coronavirus pandemic has intensified existing problems, ‘widened cracks’ and contributed to the most difficult time in several years for local authorities nationally, according to the local government ombudsman.

The body looks at complaints about councils.

Figures from the LGSCO show 65 complaints or enquiries about Nottinghamshire Council were lodged in the year to March, including 31 related to adult social care, though the ombudsman was closed to new complaints between March and June 2020.

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County Hall, Nottinghamshire Council's headquarters in West Bridgford.

That was down from 102 the year before.

Different data shows 28 cases deemed to warrant a full investigation by the LGSCO were concluded in 2020-21, with 15 resulting in a complaint being upheld against the council, including one regarding Berry Hill care home in Mansfield.

Melanie Brooks, council corporate director for adult social care and public health, said: “We take very seriously each complaint we investigate and work hard to learn from our mistakes.

“While we support about 7,000 people at any one time and, for many of those people the support is of a good quality, it is important to hear from those where we have not worked to give support or quality of experience to the level we expect.

"The right to have independent investigation through the ombudsman is an important one and we will continue to ensure we implement recommendations for findings from individual investigations.

“We agree that through the pandemic there have been many challenges in providing consistent care and support to our residents and that, while responding to Covid has been intense for social care, it does not explain each time we could have done more to support an individual and their family.”

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Education and children’s services were the subject of the largest proportion of complaints and enquiries nationally, with more than 2,300 lodged last year.

A further 1,700 related to planning and development, while more than 1,600 were about adult social care.

At the height of the first lockdown, the ombudsman was closed to new cases and halted ongoing investigations.

Pandemic-related disruption contributed to a significant drop in complaints and enquiries across England, with 11,800 received – down from 17,000 the year before.

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