12.07.18

LGO upholds 60% of investigations against councils

Article by Callum Wood of Public Sector Magazine

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) upheld almost 60% of the detailed investigations it dealt with last year, which is up from just over half the previous year.

Its annual report shows that the body dealt with more than 31,500 complaints and enquiries from the public in 2017-18. Of the 18,882 cases the Ombudsman decided, 5,031 were dealt with at the assessment stage and 4,331 through a detailed investigation.

Over that year, the Ombudsman upheld 57% of detailed investigations, compared to 53% the previous year.

More than 730 recommendations were also made to improve services for the wider public, an increase of almost a fifth compared to the year before.

“Our recommendations for service improvement are helping local authorities unlock the power of our investigations, to improve the lives of many people who haven’t directly complained to us,” LGO Michael King, who PSE interviewed earlier this month, said.

“I welcome where councils and care providers have worked constructively with us to remedy injustices and take on board the learning from our cases.”

King added that last year, the body put “considerable effort” into changing its processes to give more sophisticated information about the impact of its recommendations.

“In future, I hope this will help councils increasingly to capitalise on the added value complaints can bring,” he added.

King’s interview with PSE will be available in the upcoming edition of the magazine (August/September), which hits desks in early August. Subscribe to receive a free print or digital copy here.

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