Response to Equality and Human Rights Commission Inquiry into challenging social care decisions
Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, Heléna Herklots CBE, said:
“It is deeply concerning that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has found that adults receiving social care in England and Wales are being ‘failed’ when they try to challenge care decisions made by local authorities or make complaints.
“These processes are fundamental to ensuring that people’s rights are upheld and the provision of good quality and responsive care. It is unacceptable that the ‘complicated, confusing and slow’ systems in place mean that those who need social care, and their loved ones, find making complaints difficult and stressful – often at times of crisis – while others are being deterred from engaging with the system altogether due to concerns about the negative consequences of making a complaint, such as a loss of access to the social care needed.
“EHRC’s report also highlights significant gaps that need to be tackled to improve people’s access to information about how to challenge decisions and the support available to help them do this, including access to independent advocacy. Alongside this, poor data collection and analysis means that local authorities are missing opportunities to understand how well they are meeting the social care needs of different groups and identify where improvements are needed.
“It is crucial that local authorities throughout Wales, as well as the Welsh Government and Care Inspectorate Wales, carefully consider EHRC’s findings and recommendations and work together to deliver the action needed to ensure that older people and their loved ones do not face barriers or negative consequences when raising concerns or complaints and their legal rights are protected and upheld.”Read EHRC's Inquiry Report