Compaints panels in social care


By Catherine Williams and Katy Ferris

Large format paperback, 120 pages

Published 2010

This benchmark guide to complaints panels is built on the authors' many years' involvement in, and extensive research into panels in several local authorities. Aiming to enhance the work of panels for the benefit of all involved. It:

  • introduces the legal requirements and procedure of complains panels
  • identifies potential pitfalls and suggests how to avoid them
  • advises on achieving best practice, including real case examples
  • explains for advocates and their clients what to expect from the experience

It is relevant to everyone involved, including:

  • new and experienced panel members
  • those responsible for overhauling complaints procedures
  • directors of social care, who have to respond to the panels' recommendations
  • those appointed as Independent People to act as panel members, panel chairs or participate in investigations prior to hearings
  • anyone going before a complaints panel, and their advisers
  • advocates and lawyers representing those who are making complaints

Users of social care services are increasingly encouraged to come forward with their complaints as a means of both remedying individual deficiencies and of improving services in general. However, many local authority complaints managers have little guidance on running complaints panels, beyond knowing the legislation and the Department of Health guidelines, and are frequently not ware of how other authorities' panels are conducted. this guide aims to improve the development of panels and to help local authorities achieve best practice.


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