To consider the attached report
A minutes silence was held by the committee in memory of former Councillor Helen Thomas.
Lisa Curtis-Jones introduced the item to the committee before Gaynor Lewis provided an overview of the complaints procedure and highlighted the salient points within the report.
Councillor T Rogers entered the meeting
The following questions were raised by the committee and responded to in detail by the officers in attendance.
· The report states you in the process of setting up dedicated email addresses for departments as an alternative method of communication for parents – what is the timescale for this to be implemented
· In 2018 – 2019 there were 96 complaints, do you find that the same complainants make complaints year on year
· You mentioned that people can be apprehensive about making a complaint, why do you think this is the case, would it be that the complainant thinks it will affect the service they receive
· In a child protection case if a complaint was made would it be rejected until the legal case is dealt so that the two processes wouldn’t be running parallel
· Is it correct that Social Services staff do not provide their personal email addresses to members of the public they deal with and if so what is the reason for this
· If contact details were provided at the first point of contact it could negate a large number of complaints in relation to lack of communication
· Issue were raised about the report not having enough depth or information about where the complaints were coming from and more importantly how we learn lessons. The report states that between upheld and partially upheld there were 37 cases this is where we need focus future reports. As for this committee It is about improving the processes and systems.
· How many Stage One complaints go outside of the 10 working days that is stated in the report and why
· Can you provide details of how the independent investigators are chosen
· In relation to complaints process have you considered calling them concerns, people may be more likely to raise a concern than a complaint at the first stage
· Can you confirm when we will receive this year’s Annual Report
The Chair requested a workshop be set up so that the committee could look at the complaints process and gain a better understanding going forward.
The Chair thanked the officer for the report and the responses to the questions raised by the committee.