What if you’re unhappy with the care you receive

Money Advice Service

Most people have a positive experience of the care they receive but problems sometimes occur and you may want to make a complaint. Whether the care is provided at home or in a care home, or you’ve bought a care product such as a mobility aid, it’s important to know your rights.

Your rights to acceptable care standards

Care homes and home care are regulated:

They’re all responsible for ensuring that the care you receive, whether it’s provided at home or in a care home, meets national minimum standards.

These standards aren’t just guidelines – providers have a legal obligation to make sure you’re safe, comfortable and treated with respect.

And if things go wrong, you have a legal right to complain.

The role of the UK’s care quality commissions

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, regulatory bodies are responsible for checking that every registered care provider meets important standards of quality and safety – but their duties don’t include dealing with individual complaints about providers’ services.

However, the Care Inspectorate in Scotland will investigate complaints against providers, and has the power to enforce recommendations or even revoke a provider’s operating licence.

How to complain

Getting started

You can clear up a lot of problems by having an informal chat with a member of staff or the manager of the care home or service.

But if that doesn’t get a result, or if the member of staff or manager is the problem, you’ll need to make a formal complaint.

By law, all registered health and social care service providers must have a complaints procedure that you can ask to see.

It should have been explained to you when you moved in or took up the service.

Ask for a copy of the provider’s complaints policy so you know what to do.

Next steps – complaining to your local authority

If you’re still not satisfied with the response from your care provider, and your local council pays for all or some of your care, you should complain through their social services department.

They’ll investigate the complaint and take any appropriate actions. If you’re unhappy with the outcome of your complaint you can take it to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Complaints if you fund your own care

If you fund and arrange your own care you should take your complaint directly to the Local Government Ombudsman and/or the Health Service Ombudsman, but only after your care provider has been given a reasonable opportunity to put matters right.

Complaints to the Ombudsman

In England

The Local Government Ombudsman should be your first port of call if you feel you need to elevate a complaint made to your local council about residential or nursing care.

The Health Service Ombudsman can only consider complaints about the NHS.

In Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

If you think your case involves criminal negligence or fraud, you should speak to a solicitor.

And if you believe there are serious criminal acts taking place, such as physical abuse, theft or other forms of criminal activity, you should contact the police.

Should you keep paying for the care product or service you’re unhappy about?

Don’t withhold payment for a care product or service without first getting professional advice about your rights and responsibilities.

Contact your local authority if the care home is run by them, or get advice from your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

Getting help and advice to complain

Top tip

Keep copies of any emails and letters you send, and make sure you use recorded delivery for anything you post.

It’s a good idea to ask a friend or relative to help with your complaint, especially if it involves a face-to-face meeting with a manager of the care home or service you’re complaining about.

You can also get advice from:

Complaining about care products

When you buy something, the law gives you certain rights that protect you if it’s faulty or not fit for purpose.

That includes equipment or aids to help with mobility or daily tasks.

If your council arranged for and purchased a care product for you, report it to them and they should replace it.

If you bought a care product directly, go back to the retailer to ask for a refund or replacement.

If you don’t get a satisfactory result, contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau for help in taking matters further.

If you bought a product or service with a credit card, and the retailer is being difficult, you might get help from your credit card provider.

Contact them directly to see what they can do.

Complaining about financial care products

  1. If you’ve purchased a financial product to pay for your care and you’re not satisfied with the service, ask for a copy of the company’s complaints procedure and launch an official complaint directly with them. Firms regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority are legally obliged to have one.
  2. If you don’t get a satisfactory outcome, contact the Financial Ombudsman Service to complain.
  3. If the Financial Ombudsman Service has considered your complaint and you’re still unhappy, you can take the matter to court. However, bear in mind that in most cases the court is likely to agree with the Financial Ombudsman Service’s decision, and it could be a lengthy and costly process.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Join Rest Less Money Club

Helpful tips and guidance for making the most of your money – straight to your inbox

By providing us your email address you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the link in our emails.

Join the Rest Less Money Club

Helpful tips and guidance for making the most of your money – straight to your inbox

Good luck with your application

Before you go, we’d love to stay in touch to find out how you get on. Sign up to Rest Less today to get free job alerts and inspiring content sent straight to your inbox.
By providing your email you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time through the link in our emails.