Lee J Cobb in 12 Angry Men 1957

How Do I Complain About A Care Home?

If you are unhappy with the care that is being provided by a care home, who should you talk to? We have information for you from both the government's Regulator and the Ombudsman.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) who is the regulating body for care homes, offers the following guidelines:

Who should I contact?
We encourage you to tell the care service provider your concerns so they can put things right.

But we understand that some people are worried about sharing their concerns and complaints with providers.

In these cases, you can contact us. (The CQC)

Go to the contact us page at the CQC website.

What the CQC will do
We will write to you to confirm that we have received the information you have given us.

We will then look at the information and decide how to respond.

We are responsible for making sure that providers meet the regulations and standards that apply to them.

If the provider is not meeting those regulations and standards, we will take further action.

We may ask the provider to investigate, or we may look into it ourselves.

What happens next?
If we find evidence that the provider has not met the regulations, we will tell them what they must do to put things right.

We use our inspection powers to find the information we need to make these and other decisions.

How long will it take?
We will aim to complete our enquiry within 20 working days. If we are not able to do this, we will keep you informed of what is happening and why.

Who else can help?
If the care you are receiving is paid for by your local council, you may be able to use the statutory social services complaints procedure.

Speak to their complaints manager, who can tell you how to do this.

Complain to your council
If you would like to make a complaint about social care services provided through a local council, you need to contact your local council directly.

Your local council is legally required to have a complaints procedure about the social services it provides.

Find your local council contact details: Visit the Direct Gov website

This guidance can be found at the Care Quality Commission


Adult social care

Complaints about adult social care

The Local Government Ombudsman can consider complaints about councils and all types of care service for adults in England. We can look at complaints about:
care arranged direct with a care provider by:
someone paying with their own or family money
someone using money provided by a council
care provided by a council.

Everyone has access to the same independent Ombudsman service regardless of how the care service is funded. See our leaflet How to complain about a care home or care in your home. There is also an EasyRead version.

In most cases we will only consider a complaint once the council or care provider has been given a reasonable opportunity to deal with the situation. It is a free service. Our job is to investigate complaints in a fair and independent way. We do not take sides and do not champion complaints.

We are independent of politicians, local authorities, government departments, advocacy and campaigning groups, the care industry, and the Care Quality Commission. We are not a regulator and do not inspect care providers.
The short film below provides an overview of our adult social care service. It explains our role and how the service benefits both service users and care providers. You can also download a free copy of the film by clicking the link to the right as well as a copy of the transcript.

Please visit The Local Government Ombudsman's website for more information.

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