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Raising a concern about care services

How to raise a concern about a care service in Wales.

Concerns are an important source of information for us that inform our inspection and enforcement processes.

If you are concerned, someone may be at risk of harm, abuse or neglect

If you are concerned that a child or adult living in your family or community may be at risk of harm, abuse or neglect, you should contact social services in your area to report a safeguarding concern. Visit the Welsh Government website (External link) for contact details.

If the person you are concerned about is at risk of harm, abuse or neglect and they receive care and/or support from a registered service, you should contact social services in your area to report a safeguarding concern. If you report a safeguarding concern about a registered service, we want you to tell us as well.

If you want to make a complaint about a registered service

You have the right to make a complaint directly to the registered service. Each registered service is required by law to have their own easily accessible complaints procedure that they must follow.  In the first instance, you should make a complaint to the registered service directly in order to give them the chance to resolve your concerns.

We cannot raise your complaint for you or take it up on your behalf.  We do not investigate individual complaints or resolve disagreements between people and their service providers.

If you wish to make a complaint with the registered service, you should ask to see their complaints procedure.  If you make a complaint about poor care and/or support, we want to know too as it will inform our inspection planning.

If you want to make a complaint about local authority social services

Local authority social services are responsible for providing information, advice and assistance as well as assessing people’s need for care and support and arranging for care and support to be provided. They may also directly provide a range of services such as day support as well as services registered with us such as care homes.

If you have a complaint about the way a local authority social service operates, you should contact them directly. They have their own complaints process and information, which you can request from them.

We cannot raise your complaint for you or take it up on your behalf.  We do not investigate individual complaints or resolve disagreements between people and their local authority.

We are interested to hear from people about their experience of the service they receive from the local authority. This will help to inform our understanding of how well the local authority social service operates and supports the people who use it.

If you’re unhappy with the outcome of your complaint with the registered service or local authority social service

If following resolution of your complaint with the registered service or local authority social service you remain unhappy about the outcome, you should contact the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales who has legal powers to look into complaints about public services and care providers in Wales. Visit the Ombudsman’s website (External link) for further details.

You can also tell us if you remain unhappy about the outcome of a complaint raised with the registered service or local authority social service. We will review your concern and consider what appropriate actions we may take in response.

Making a disclosure about an employer

If you are employed by a registered service or a local authority social service and you have experience of or know of poor practice or wrongdoing in your workplace, we want you to tell us.

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (External link) which amended the Employment Rights Act 1996, was introduced to protect workers who are concerned about poor practice or wrongdoing in their workplace and want to ‘blow the whistle’.  This is also called making a ‘disclosure’. 

If you work for a registered service or local authority social service and make a disclosure to us in accordance with set criteria, this may be considered as making a ‘protected disclosure’ and you have the right not to be dismissed or suffer a detriment to your employment as a result. If you do suffer a detriment as a result of making a disclosure e.g. being denied a promotion or being dismissed, you have the right to take your employer to an employment tribunal.  

Further advice about making a disclosure is set out within our ‘Providing feedback about care services in Wales guidance’.

Tell us about a service suspected of operating without registration

The Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 and the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 set out the type of social care and childcare and play services, which must be regulated by us. These include:

  • adult services: care homes services for adults, domiciliary support services, adult placement services and residential family centre services
  • children’s services: care homes services for children, fostering services, adoption services, advocacy services and secure accommodation services
  • childcare and play services: child minders, crèches, full day care, sessional day care, out of school care and open access playwork provision

Any provider who operates such a service in Wales must register with us. It is unlawful for a provider to operate a regulated service without being registered to do so.

It is important that you tell us if you believe or suspect a service, known to you or others, is operating without being registered to do so.

If you wish to tell us about a suspected service operating without registration, you should complete and submit our concern web form below.  

Further information about a service suspected of operating without registration is set out within our ‘Providing feedback about care services in Wales guidance’.

How to raise a concern

If you have a specific concern about the safety and quality of a care service in Wales, you can:

  • submit your concern via our web form (below)
  • telephone us: 0300 7900 126 option 2

We will review your concern and consider what appropriate action to take with the care service.

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Concern Form

All fields marked with a * are mandatory

What is your concern regarding?
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