Issue - meetings

Annual Compliments and Complaints Report 2022-23

Meeting: 15/11/2023 - Overview and Scrutiny Management Board (Item 65)

65 Annual Compliments and Complaints Report 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 473 KB

To consider a report of the Assistant Chief Executive.


To receive a report outlining the complaints and compliments that the Council received in the period 1st April 2022-31st March 2023, highlighting key themes and longer-term trends.



Members of Overview and Scrutiny Management Board are asked to:


1.  Note the Annual Compliments and Complaints Report for 2022/23.

2.  Provide comments on areas that require further improvement regarding complaints handling and reporting.


Additional documents:


The Chair invited the Cabinet Member for Customer Services, Finance and Community Safety to introduce the report. The report gave an overview of compliments and complaints received in 2022-23 and provided a comparison with trends and performance over the previous five years. It was outlined that understanding complaints and compliments was important to the Council to help it learn about how it dealt with customers and where improvements could be made to ensure that services were delivered in a fair and equitable manner. The Cabinet Member welcomed feedback from OSMB on the content and format of the report.


The Assistant Chief Executive welcomed representatives from each of the directorates to address service specific questions. The Assistant Chief Executive gave a short presentation outlining the direction of travel for complaints over the past 5 years. It was noted that following feedback from the Board a greater emphasis has been placed on the themes emerging from complaints, actions taken and the impact that this has had on trends. It was noted that the Covid 19 pandemic had reduced the numbers received between 2020 - 2022. However, in 2022-23 the numbers returned to slightly above pre pandemic levels.


Most Directorates saw an increase in the numbers of complaints. 280 more complaints were received in 2022/23, which was an increase of 25%. 175 more complaints were upheld (proportionately this is a significant increase on the previous year with 32% of all complaints upheld compared to 24% last year.


More complaints were received that were categorised as Quality of Service (31% of all complaints this year and 13% last year) and complaints categorised as Action of Staff decreased significantly. More compliments were received although it was noted that not all compliments may be passed on to the Complaints Team by staff. 


Performance has been maintained at 85% of complaint responses within target timescale. Whilst slightly below the 5-year average of 86%, this met the Council Plan target of 85%. There had been a continued effort made across all Council services to maintain performance to timescales, despite the increase in numbers received.


The Annual Review letter from the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) was received on 19th July 2023, setting out their records of referred complaint investigations. In 2022/23 fewer complaints were investigated and upheld by the LGSCO than in the previous year, with 7 complaints investigated compared to 19. The decrease can be considered as a return to average numbers received following an unusually high number of enquiries investigated in the previous year (an effect of the Covid 19 pandemic). Overall, the Annual Review letter presented a positive view of the Council’s handling of formal complaints in 2022/23. The number of investigations decreased significantly, but the upheld rate was slightly above average.  There were no Public Interest Reports in this year.


It was noted that the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman had recently launched a consultation with the Housing Ombudsman on a Joint Complaints Handling Code. Subject to the outcome of the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65