THE number of complaints received by social services in Powys has fallen by a third during 2019/20.

In total, 97 complaints were made about social services – 49 relating to adult services and 48 about children's services – of which 28 per cent were upheld and 26 per cent were partially upheld.

Four were then passed on to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales to investigate further.

Two of these investigations have finished with no further action need, while the other two remain open.

But that reflected a fall on the 143 complaints received in 2018/19.

The report shows that complaints have been received on a number of issues.

These include: poor communications, staff turnover, quality of care, financial assessments and decision made on levels of care and support.

The figures are included in a report which will be heard by Powys Council's cabinet next Tuesday, July 14.

It also shows that the service received 144 compliments – four more than in the previous year.

But the report also shows that fewer staff are now dealing with complaints about social services.

Director of social services Ali Bulman, explains in the report that in October 2019, the complaints team was reduced from two and one administrator, to one complaints officer and a part – time administrator.

Ms Bulman, said: "The rationale for this was that the council was introducing a new corporate  complaints recording and reporting system, which we were advised, would significantly reduce the workload.

“Efficiencies and savings could be made as part of the wider corporate transformation plan for 2019/2020.”

Ms Bulman added that the new system had thrown up problems.

Ms Bulman said:  “Our experience shows that whilst this system does have the real potential to reduce some areas of workload and increase oversight and visibility of complaints and compliments, these benefits have not yet been fully realised.

“There is more work needed before these are achieved.”

More compliments are delivered for adult services, Ms Bulman added, because people perceive it as helping people live their lives as independently as possible, whereas children's services are seen as providing a more “regulatory function” by starting care proceeding and taking children into care.

“By their very nature are perceived as more intrusive, monitoring, enforcing, and thus less likely to generate compliments,” said Ms Bulman.