Agenda item

Customer Feedback and Complaints Service, Corporate Services, Annual Report 2022/23

Report of the Director of Corporate Services.


The Leader introduced the Customer Feedback and Complaints Service, Corporate Services Annual Report for 2022-23 and reminded members that the complaints system was an important part of the councils learning and development.


The Customer Feedback and Complaints Manager briefly explained the Corporate Complaints procedure and the stages involved.  Members were reminded that safeguarding complaints had been considered by the Safeguarding Overview and Scrutiny (O&S) Committee.


It was explained that there was still a direct phone line to the complaints team for those people who preferred this to the on-line form or email.


A total of 1216 complaints and feedback had been received during 2022/23.  MP enquiries remained the largest number of contacts.


During the debate the following points were raised:

  • Complaints regarding Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) were considered by the Safeguarding O&S Committee.  The Leader explained the recent changes in Children and Family service which it was hoped would improve delays in EHCP processing.
  • Lessons were learnt from each complaint and processes reviewed where necessary.  Recent changes in CQC legislation ensured that lessons resulting from adult social care complaints were dealt with by a performance group which ensured improvements were disseminated to appropriate teams.
  • It was acknowledged that publishing increased investment, led to an increase in complaints.  An example was given of highway investment.
  • A question on the availability of the online app for android phones was asked.  Information was not available at the meeting but would be provided to committee members.
  • There had been an increase in the use of the online form but email  remained the most popular form of contact. 
  • Front line contact, for example through Councillors, was seen as an important mechanism of highlighting concerns and rectifying issues before they became complaints. It was noted that complaint numbers were very low but elected members dealt with a number of issues which prevented complaints being raised.  Refresh training on the complaints process had been provided for members recently.  It was suggested that this be an annual training event.
  • The customer survey and other service surveys which were carried out periodically also helped to highlight areas which needed to be reviewed.
  • There had been a backlog in dealing with insurance claims for highway damage due to potholes.  This was dealt with by the councils insurance company.
  • The number of complaints which had been signposted to other local authorities had increased.  It was explained that the  Staffordshire leaders board were considering a ‘single front door’ approach for residents.  Lichfield were to pilot the approach and the results would be reported back to the board.
  • Compliments were received but collection of the information was reliant on the departments letting the team know.


Members expressed their thanks to the Complaints team for their care and support provided to customers when they raised issues against departments.



a)   The Complaints team be thanked for their support and work undertaken over the past 12 months.

b)  the Complaints process training be included in the annual Members Training Programme.

c)   Information on the online app working for android phones be reported to members after the meeting.


Supporting documents: