Date lodged: 11 August 2016
To ask the Scottish Government what action a complainer can take under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 if an older person sustains an injury because a local authority has failed to provide suitable and adequate residential accommodation.
Answered by: Aileen Campbell 1 September 2016
Complaints raised under the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 are to be handled by local authorities in accordance with the Local Authorities Complaints Procedures Directions (SWSG 5/1996), which are published on the Scottish Government website: http://www.gov.scot/Resource/Doc/1035/0017124.pdf
From 1st April 2017, following the passage of the Public Services Reform (Social Work Complaints Procedure) (Scotland) Order 2016, complaints under the Social Work (Scotland) Act will be subject to a revised procedure, with stage 3 of complaints proceeding direct to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). The Ombudsman's role has been enhanced to allow him to consider the merits of decisions made by local authorities in relation to social work services.
The SPSO will publish model complaints handling procedures in advance of April 2017. These are likely to specify a timebar for complaints about social work services similar to that in place for local authorities: the complaint must be raised within six months of the person becoming aware of the issue.