In the unlikely event there have a problem, we will do everything we can to resolve it quickly and courteously.
A complaint can be received either verbally or in writing and can be made by:
- someone acting on behalf of a resident and with their written consent, e.g. an advocate, relative, Member of Parliament. etc.
- someone acting on behalf of a resident who is unable to represent his or her own interests, provided this does not conflict with the resident’s right to confidentiality or a previously expressed wish of the resident.
Time Limits for Submitting a Complaint
Complaints should be submitted within 12 months of the incident or concern arising. The time limit, however, can and should be waived, if:
- it is still practical and possible to investigate the complaint (the records still exist, and the individuals concerned are still available to be questioned, etc.), and
- the complainant can demonstrate reasonable cause for delay in making the complaint
It is at the discretion of the manager of the service if the time limit can be set aside.
When a complaint is raised to staff, every effort will be made to resolve it immediately to the satisfaction of the complainant.
Staff will apologise for the fact there was the need to complain in the first instance and explain the complaints process as described in the procedure steps.
Staff will report the complaint to the most senior member of staff on duty and the complaint will be logged.
An acknowledgement of complaints received (whether verbal or written) will be made within 72 hours. Each home will have a local process in place to manage out-of-hours and weekend complaints received.
The formal acknowledgement will include:
- an invitation to meet and discuss the complaint;
- who will be investigating the complaint;
- how the investigation will be handled – the response should state what the investigation will be focused on;
- a time limit for the investigation to be concluded. This should be 28 days, however, some cases may take longer and the complainant will be made aware of this;
- the complaints procedure and contact details of bodies that can be accessed in the event of dissatisfaction with the outcome of the investigation.
Following a full investigation, a response letter will be sent and this will include:
- a summary of the issue from the complainant’s point of view details of the evidence and sources consulted in order to investigate the issue fully and fairly
- a presentation of the findings for each issue clearly and concisely described
- a conclusion, stating clearly whether the issue is “upheld”, “partially upheld” or “not upheld”; unless it is ineligible, in which case the reason for this will be given, e.g. out of time or out of jurisdiction
- an explanation of the outcome and whether any remedial action or learning points arise from the investigation of that issue
- an apology where the issue is upheld and shortcomings or failings have been found
- the complainant’s rights if not satisfied with the outcome, to refer to The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
- a signature from the responsible individual or sent by email in their name
The complaint will be closed once confirmation has been received that there is satisfaction with the outcome. In the event of dissatisfaction, we will assist the complainant to access further support.