If unmet need is so rife why are there so few complaints about it?
The received wisdom is that adults and carers are experiencing significant unmet care and support needs, and more resources are needed to address the problem. In England, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) says so, and figures produced by Age UK are often quoted in the national press – “A million older people ‘badly let down’ by lack of social care funding”, one article read.
In light of this, it could be expected that the numbers of people complaining to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) about local authorities refusing to meet their care and support needs would be relatively high. Yet, very few people actually complain about decisions not to meet their needs where these do not meet the eligibility criteria.
However, there are a significant number of people who complain about their needs being under-met; this occurs when a person – judged to meet the eligibility criteria – believes their personal budget is insufficient to meet their needs.