Complaints Procedure Service User Guide

If nobody tells us when we get things wrong or shares their ideas on how we can improve, we will not be able to provide the best service possible to you.

We would like all our service users to feel able to share their views and concerns with us so that we can change things for the better.

How do I share my comments and suggestions?

You can use our ‘Comments, Suggestions and Complaints Form’ or there are other ways to share your ideas including those listed below:

  • Telling your support worker;
  • Completing questionnaires;
  • Going to house meetings;
  • Using a suggestion box;
  • Coming to one of our service user involvement groups.

What is a comment?

A comment is where you have something to say, but you may not want action to be taken. A comment can be a compliment, a criticism or a piece of information.

You will not normally receive a response but we will make sure it is passed to the most suitable person to benefit from it.

What is a suggestion?

A suggestion is when you want to see something change and have an idea of a way to improve it.

You may have suggestions about how we could do things better or in a different way.  We will respond to all suggestions within 10 working days.

Complaints

We will not always get everything right. If this happens and you want to make a complaint, please see below.

How do I complain?

There are two ways to make a complaint:

1. Use the Informal Stage

Many complaints are settled by talking directly to the staff involved in the issue or to the Team Leader/Manager of the workers that support you.

2. Use the Formal Stage

If you are unhappy with the outcome of the informal stage, or you want to make a formal complaint straight away (because the issue is more serious or urgent) please fill in our ‘Comments, Suggestions and Complaints Form’. We will send a written acknowledgement within 2 working days.

You can also phone or email us or get someone e.g. a friend or an advocate to help you fill in the form.

Stage 1:
A Team Leader/Manager receives all formal complaints.  They will arrange for the complaint to be investigated within a further 5 working days and we will make sure that you are kept up to date. An outcome of the complaint will be sent to you within 3 days of the investigation concluding.

Our Complaint Policy gives full details of how complaints are dealt with.  You can ask any member of staff for a copy of this.

What if you are still unhappy with the result?

Stage 2:
If you are not happy with the outcome of the complaint you can ask us to look at your complaint again. A Service Manager will investigate the complaint and respond with their findings within a further 5 working days.

Stage 3:
You can complain to the Director of Resources. They will review the complaint and respond with their findings within a further 5 working days.

Stage 4:
If you are still not happy with the outcome, you have the right to complain to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO will respond with their findings within a further 5 working days. The CEO decision is final.

Supporting you

As long as you follow the procedure, we will support you to make a complaint.  We want to assure you that we will:

  • Deal with your complaint as quickly as possible
  • Investigate your complaints fully
  • Handle everything fairly
  • Not discriminate against you because of your decision to make a complaint.

Representation

You can have someone to support you or represent you at any stage of pursuing the complaint.

This might be:

A friend or family member

Or it might be from a professional advisor such as:

  • An advocate or someone from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau
  • A solicitor

Confidentiality

Comments and suggestions can be made without giving your name but we cannot deal with anonymous complaints.  Only the people who are directly involved in the investigation will be told about your complaint.

Further consideration

If you remain dissatisfied, you are entitled to seek independent advice. This could include taking the matter to the Housing Association’s Ombudsman.