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Complaints about assessments

If you or the person you're looking after want to complain about a decision made by social services, you can use the statutory complaints system.

Since April 1 2009 a new procedure has been in place for making complaints to your local authority. If you made a complaint before April 2009, the previous regulations still apply to you.

If you want to complain about your local authority, you should do so in writing or verbally to the complaints manager within 12 months.

Your local authority will respond within three working days to acknowledge receipt of your complaint. They will then discuss with you how long your complaint is likely to take to investigate. They must respond fully within six months unless a different time period has been discussed and agreed with you.

Each local authority is responsible for arrangements for dealing with complaints, so contact your local authority for a copy of their complaints procedure.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from your local authority, contact the independent Local Government Ombudsman. The ombudsman investigates complaints about local councils.

Judicial review

In some cases where there is a serious error of law, it may be possible to apply to the High Court for a judicial review of the decision made by the local authority.

The time limit for applying for permission for a judicial review is three months from the date of the decision you want to complain about. This three-month maximum period of time is strictly applied.

This type of legal action is expensive unless you qualify for public funding (legal aid). You will need the help of a solicitor who specialises in this type of work. This area of law is called community care law. To find a qualified solicitor, visit The Law Society website or contact your Citizens Advice Bureau.


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The 3 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

User607966 said on 19 October 2011

I find this website extremely difficult.I registered for CHOICES, although resident in Scotland and I want to leave a comment about having a colonoscopy on the page where the other 3 people left messages, but I do not know how to do this. Please advise so I can comment on the wonderful service at the Royal Infirmary Glasgow and comment about the colonoscopy procedure.Thank you in advance of you advising me how to do this. Yours , David R.Anderson.

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Rob Finch said on 01 April 2010

S Perry,
Thanks for your comments - this page has been under review and has now been updated to reflect the current complaints procedure.
Many thanks.

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s perry said on 22 March 2010

hello this complaints procedure is out of date since april last year

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Page last reviewed: 19/08/2013

Next review due: 19/08/2015

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