Single Parents Support believes that if a service user wishes to make a complaint or register a concern they should find it easy to do so. It is each establishment’s policy to welcome complaints and look upon them as an opportunity to learn, adapt, improve and provide better services. This policy is intended to ensure that complaints are dealt with properly and that all complaints or comments by service users are taken seriously.
The policy is not designed to apportion blame, to consider the possibility of negligence or to provide compensation. It is NOT part of each establishment’s disciplinary policy
Each establishment believes that failure to listen to or acknowledge complaints will lead to an aggravation of problems, service user dissatisfaction and possible litigation. Each establishment supports the concept that most complaints, if dealt with early, openly and honestly, can be sorted out at a local level between just the complainant and each establishment. If this fails due to either the establishment or the complainant being dissatisfied with the result the complaint will be referred to the regulator of C.I.C’s (whichever is relevant) and legal advice will be taken as per necessary.
The aim of each establishment is to ensure that its complaints procedure is properly and effectively implemented, and that service users feel confident that their complaints and worries are listened to and acted upon promptly and fairly.
The goals of each establishment are to ensure that:
- Service users, are aware of how to complain, and that each establishment provides easy to use opportunities for them to register their complaints
- A named person will be responsible for the administration of the procedure
- Every written complaint is acknowledged within two working days
- Investigations into written complaints are held within 28 days
- All complaints are responded to in writing by each establishment
- Complaints are dealt with promptly, fairly and sensitively with due regard to the upset and worry that they can cause to both staff and service users.
The named complaints manager with responsibility for following through complaints is Nicola Booth.
- When a complaint is received in writing it should be passed on to the named complaints manager who should record it in the complaints spreadsheet and send an acknowledgement letter within two working days. The complaints manager will be the named person who deals with the complaint through the process.
- If necessary, further details should be obtained from the complainant. If the complaint is not made by the service user but on the service user’s behalf, then consent of the service user, preferably in writing, must be obtained from the complainant.
- If the complaint raises potentially serious matters, advice should be sought from a legal adviser to the establishment. If legal action is taken at this stage any investigation by the establishment under the complaints procedure should cease immediately.
- If the complainant is not prepared to have the investigation conducted by the establishment he or she should be advised to contact the regulator of C.I.C’s and be given the contact details.
- Immediately on receipt of the complaint the establishment should launch an investigation and within 28 days should be in a position to provide a full explanation to the complainant, either in writing or by arranging a meeting with the individuals concerned.
- If the issues are too complex to complete the investigation within 28 days, the complainant should be informed of any delays.
- At the meeting a detailed explanation of the results of the investigation should be given and also an apology if it is deemed appropriate (apologising for what has happened need not be an admission of liability).
- The outcomes of the investigation should be recorded on appropriate documentation and any shortcomings in the establishment’s procedures should be identified and acted upon.
- Each establishment should discuss complaints and their outcome at a formal business meeting and the establishment’s complaints procedure should be audited by the manager every six months.
The Manager is responsible for organising and co-ordination training.
All staff should be trained in dealing with, and responding to, complaints. Complaints policy training should be included in the induction training for all new staff and in-house training sessions on handling complaints should be conducted at least annually and all relevant staff should attend.