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Adult social services complaints process

Information about the types of complaints we can investigate and how we handle complaints about adult social services.

We would like to hear any comments, compliments or complaints you have about our services. We are committed to hearing from you - our service users and carers - so that we can continue to make improvements to the services we provide.

Adult Social Services has a one-stage complaints process and is based on the Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009.

Who can complain

Anyone who has received a service from Islington Adult Social Care can make a complaint.

You can also make a complaint on behalf of someone else if you have their consent, if they have died, or if they are unable to make a complaint themselves because they have a physical incapacity or lack capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

If you need any support with making a complaint, you can contact our advocacy service.

We will always take your complaint seriously and will treat you with courtesy and respect. Our staff have the right to be treated the same, and we will not tolerate any rude, violent or abusive language or behaviour.

Time limit for complaints

We are normally only able to investigate complaints about issues that have occurred within the last 12 months, or if you only became aware of the issue in the last 12 months.

If your complaint is older than 12 months, we may still consider it if there are any significant reasons that you were not able to complain sooner and if we believe we can still complete a fair investigation.

What you can complain about

You can complain about anything related to Adult Social Care, including:

  • A decision following a Care Act Assessment
  • A change to your service plan
  • The outcome of a safeguarding investigation
  • The quality of service received
  • A delay in providing a service

We can’t investigate a complaint that has already been through another complaints process, is about your employment, is about anything related to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, or if it has already been investigated by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman or the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Complaints about other organisations

If your complaint is about another organisation we may not be able to investigate the complaint. We will ask for your permission to forward the complaint to the other organisation, or provide you with their contact details.

If your complaint is about more than one organisation, we will discuss with you who is best to lead on the investigation and agree which organisation will provide you with one joint response.

How we will handle your complaint

When we receive your complaint, we will acknowledge it within three-working days.

If you have complained to us by phone or through a face-to-face meeting, we will summarise our understanding of your complaint and send this to you in writing. We may need to contact you to listen to what you have to say and to understand what your problems or concerns are.

Our acknowledgement will confirm who is dealing with your complaint and when you can expect a response. We aim to respond to all complaints within 20 working days, but we may need longer depending on the details of your complaint.

The person dealing with your complaint will conduct an investigation and provide a written response setting out their findings. This is called the stage one response. Their response will say if they have upheld your complaint, or not. If appropriate, they will explain how we will put things right and how we will learn from our mistakes.

Review of complaint 

If you think that the stage one response to your complaint hasn’t answered all of the points in your complaint, or considered all of the evidence you provided, you can ask that we complete a stage one review of your complaint. You must request this within two weeks of the date of the stage one response.
We will then assess whether a review is necessary, and if we agree we will then have a further 20 working days to complete a stage one review.

How to make a complaint

Make your complaint about adult social services online.

Start your complaint

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

After your complaint has completed our process, you can then ask the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (the Ombudsman) to review your complaint.

You usually have up to 12 months to do this, starting from the date you first made your complaint. The Ombudsman will normally only consider complaints made within that time but can decide to look at older complaints if there is a good reason to do so.

The Ombudsman looks at individual complaints about councils, all adult social care providers (including care homes and home care agencies) and some other organisations providing local public services. It investigates matters fairly and impartially and is free to use.

There are some matters the Ombudsman cannot or will not investigate. In these cases it will explain clearly the reason for its decision.

When you contact the Ombudsman, you should provide a copy of your original complaint and our stage one response and stage one review response.

The Ombudsman’s contact details are:

  • Website:
  • Telephone: 0300 061 0614
  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday - 10am to 4pm (except public holidays)


Compliments are a useful tool to help us know when we’re getting things right, to give feedback to staff and to aid learning and development.

Please send any compliments you have about a staff member or service to the Customer Services team at the People Directorate. We will log the compliment and forward it to the staff member and their manager.

Contact details

You can discuss the process in more detail by contacting the customer services team:

Customer Services
People Directorate
Islington Council
222 Upper Street
N1 1XR


Tel: 020 7527 8046 or 020 7527 8047

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Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.