Praise for adult care staff ‘going extra mile’ as complaints drop

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Councillors have praised the efforts of adult social care staff following following a drop in complaints.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s adult services committee was told the number of complaints received against the service for 2017/18 was 18, one less than last year.

Of the 18, four complainants withdrew their complaints leaving a total of 14 investigated in 2017/18, a fall of one from the previous year.

Of the 14 complaints investigated in 2017/18, 13 have concluded in local statutory complaints processes and one remains ongoing.

Complaints included users saying family members needs were neglected, social workers did not respond to messages and unsatisfactory care in general.

However, the council also received 57 compliments relating to adult social care and the efforts they put in, and councillors also praised the hard work of staff.

Members of the committee urged health bosses to make sure staff are supported if they do make a mistake inadvertently.

Coun Lesley Hamilton said: “It can be really distressing for them, nobody intends to go to work and make a mistake.

“Sometimes a simple error or mistake can happen.

“We don’t want to push them down, we want to keep them up and support them.”

Coun Stephen Thomas, chairman of the committee, said: “We take all complaints very seriously and we try and learn from those complaints.

“Our staff do go that extra mile with the time they put in.

“The effort they make has been been noted in some of the compliments they have received and by in large our staff do really go above and beyond.

“Taking that sort of approach has made a real difference.”

Based on the results of the report the council has laid out its plan of action for adult services for the following year.

This includes raising awareness of the complaints procedure and ensuring lessons are learned from complaints made.

It also includes continuing to remind and encourage the workforce to inform the standards, engagement and development team when expressions of thanks have been received.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service