Shropshire Council

Health and social care multi-agency complaints

We work closely with other public sector health and social care providers to implement a Joint Complaints Protocol. The Local Authority Social Services and National Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009 include a duty to cooperate, upon which the Joint Complaints Protocol is based.

The complexity of the health and social care system means that complaints are sometimes sent to the wrong organisation. The Joint Complaints Protocol includes a commitment that agencies receiving a complaint incorrectly directed to them will contact the complainant and seek consent to share with the appropriate agency. If consent is granted the complaint will be passed to the appropriate agency and they will adopt their usual process and acknowledge the complaint.

Increasingly social care and NHS bodies are working together as closely as possible to deliver joint services, commission services from each other or jointly fund services. These arrangements can mean that often two or more agencies may need to input into complaints investigations. Joint Complaints commonly relate to jointly delivered services or to complaints referring to a patient’s journey though different health and social care services. Whatever the nature of the joint complaint, it is important that the processes and arrangements are in place so that all agencies know how to deal with any type of joint complaint when it is made.

The Joint Complaints Protocol aims to:

  • Provide complainants with a single, consistent and streamlined process
  • Clarify expectations of how joint complaints will be managed and the role of lead agency and supporting organisations
  • Support regular and effective liaison and communication between complaints Managers/officers
  • Highlight standards for the handling of joint complaints and key requirements
  • Confirm a way of working that can facilitate improved learning and information sharing between health and social care organisations

A copy of the Joint Complaints Protocol is available to download from the related documents section of this page.