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Do you have any serious concerns about the care provider you or your family is using?
Childcare and eldercare are topics of huge importance, and it is obviously crucial that care providers are getting it right.
If you have a serious concern about your care provider, you should contact:
- The manager of that care provider
- In England- Ofsted (childcare) or Care Quality Commission (eldercare)
- In Wales- the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)
- Social services at your council
- The police
Have you used the care provider's complaints procedure?
Ask the manager for details. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal complaints process you may wish to take your concern further, for example to the Local Government Ombudsman.
You can also seek advice from one of the organisations listed on our advice articles, and ask them for support or an advocate to help make your complaint.
Advice about eldercare concerns from the CQC
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has outlined the following steps that you might want to take in the event that you have concerns with the standard of care / eldercare being provided.
If you feel safety is at risk
If you believe someone has suffered or is at risk of suffering harm, abuse or neglect, you should immediately contact your local authority and ask to speak to the safeguarding team.
You can also contact CQC or the Police. From April 2013, you can also contact your local Healthwatch for advice.
Whoever you choose to contact, they will notify the safeguarding team and each other and make sure that your concerns are dealt with as a matter of urgency.
If you feel that the rights of someone detained under the Mental Health Act are being abused then you should contact CQC, which has the power and responsibility to investigate these particular issues.
If you wish to complain about care
If you, or someone you care for, experiences poor care and you want to complain about it you can do two things.
- You can go through a formal complaints process that will investigate and resolve your complaint.
- You can also report it to the CQC, the independent regulator of health and social care. The CQC does not have the statutory power to investigate or resolve your individual complaint, but it values hearing about people's experiences of care and your information could play a vital role in helping CQC to decide when, where and what to inspect.
To make a formal complaint
If you want to make a formal complaint about a service, there is a process you should follow. You should first make a formal complaint to the service provider who has a legal duty to respond to you and listen to your views.
If you don't feel able to do that or the provider has not responded satisfactorily, you can pursue your formal complaint with the relevant ombudsman - the Local Government Ombudsman for social care, and the Parliamentary Health Services Ombudsman for healthcare.
To tell the Care Quality Commission about your experience
If you or someone you care for experiences poor care, whether or not you are going through the formal complaints procedure, you can tell the CQC about your concern to help its Inspectors decide when and where to inspect services.
Whatever your concern, if you have experienced poor care, or believe that poor care is being provided somewhere; you can report it anonymously to CQC.
Although CQC does not investigate individual complaints, the information you provide plays a vital role in helping it decide when and where to check that standards are being met.
It promptly reviews all feedback and each piece of information it receives is like another piece in the jigsaw, helping it to build a picture of what is happening in each care home or homecare agency between its routine inspections; and whenever it finds Government standards are not being met, it always takes action to make sure care improves.
Visit Care Quality Commission to report poor care and click on 'Your experience'.