The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has suspended complaints enquiries of councils and care providers in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
In an “unprecedented” move the Ombudsman will no longer be asking councils or care providers to answer queries on new or existing cases for the time being and is freezing cases in progress until normal operations are resumed.
Michael King, Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, (pictured) said: “We need to do all we can to support the vital work local authorities and care providers are doing for the communities they serve in co-ordinating the response to the Covid-19 threat. By temporarily suspending our enquiries until government advice changes, we will allow care homes and councils the breathing space they need to deliver those frontline activities without distraction.
“Councils and care providers are far better placed than we are to respond to any local complaints, particularly those that are the most serious and high risk. We still expect local authorities and care providers to respond appropriately to any complaints they receive during this time, but we understand this may look different to their normal arrangements. We will be picking this up with them once we are told normal service can resume.”
The Ombudsman’s complaints’ phone line and online complaints submission form have also been closed until further notice.
People who have registered a case will be contacted in due course, the Ombudsman added.