Allcare Nurses Agency
- Policy Statement
- The Policy
- Aim of the Complaints Procedure
- Complaints Procedure
- Vexatious Complainers
- Local Government Ombudsman (LGO)
- Local Authority-funded Service Users
- Relevant Contacts
- Related Policies
- Related Guidance
- Training Statement
This organisation’s policy is intended to comply with Regulation 16 of the Fundamental Standard Regulations.
This organisation accepts the rights of service users to make complaints and to register comments and concerns about the services received. It further accepts that they should find it easy to do so. It welcomes complaints, seeing them as opportunities 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 and their relatives, carers, and advocates are taken seriously. It is not designed to apportion blame, to consider the possibility of negligence, or to provide compensation. It is not part of the company’s Disciplinary Policy. This organisation believes that failure to listen to or acknowledge complaints leads to an aggravation of problems, service user dissatisfaction, and possible litigation. The organisation supports the idea that most complaints if dealt with early, openly, and honestly, can be sorted at a local level between just the complainant and the organisation. The complaints procedure is made available to service user and families in their Service User Guide. A copy is always kept in their care plan in their homes and available in a format that can be understood.
ADASS has published a Good Practice Guide on Handling Complaints concerning Adults and Children in Social Care Settings. They have identified the following five principles:
Aim of the Complaints Procedure
We aim to ensure that the 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. Specifically, we aim to ensure that:
The registered manager is responsible for following through with complaints. In the absence of the Registered Manager the Deputy Manager or Managing Director should be the point of call for any complaints.
- The organisation accepts that all verbal complaints, no matter how seemingly unimportant, must be taken seriously.
- Front-line care staff who receive a verbal complaint are expected to seek to solve the problem immediately.
- If they cannot solve the problem immediately, they should offer to get their line manager to deal with the problem.
- Staff are expected to remain polite, courteous, sympathetic, and professional to the complainant. They are taught that there is nothing to be gained by adopting a defensive or aggressive attitude.
- At all times in responding to the complaint, staff are encouraged to remain calm and respectful.
- Staff should not make excuses or blame other staff.
- If the complaint is being made on behalf of the service user by an advocate, it must first be verified that the person has permission to speak for the service user, especially if confidential information is involved. It is very easy to assume that the advocate has the right or power to act for the service user when they may not. If in doubt, it should be assumed that the service user’s explicit permission is needed before discussing the complaint with the advocate.
- After discussing the problem, the manager or member of staff dealing with the complaint will suggest a means of resolving it. If this course of action is acceptable, the member of staff should clarify the agreement with the complainant and agree on a way in which the results of the complaint will be communicated to the complainant (i.e., through another meeting or by letter).
- If the suggested plan of action is not acceptable to the complainant, the member of staff or manager will ask the complainant to put their complaint in writing to the registered manager. The complainant should be given a copy of the company’s complaints procedure if they do not already have one.
- Details of all verbal and written complaints must be recorded in the complaints book, the service user’s file, and in the home records.
Serious or Written Complaints
Investigation of the complaint by the organisation:
This organisation takes seriously any comments or complaints regarding its service. However, there are service users who can be treated as ‘vexatious complainers’ due to the inability of the organisation to meet the outcomes of the complaints, which are never resolved. Vexatious complainers need to be dealt with by the arbitration service so that the repeated investigations become less of a burden on the organisation, its staff, and other service users.
Local Government Ombudsman (LGO)
Since October 2010 the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) can consider complaints from people who arrange or fund their own adult social care. This is in addition to complaints about care arranged and funded by local authorities (LAs), which the LGO has dealt with for more than 35 years.
The LGO’s role includes those who self-fund from their resources or have a personalised budget. It will ensure that everyone has access to the same independent ombudsman service, regardless of how the care service is funded. In most cases, they will only consider a complaint once the care provider has been given a reasonable opportunity to deal with the situation. It is a free service. Its job is to investigate complaints fairly and independently; it is not biased and does not champion complaints; it is independent of politicians, LAs, government departments, advocacy and campaigning groups, the care industry, and the CQC; it is not a regulator, and it does not inspect care providers.
The LGO is fully independent of the CQC. It deals with individual injustices that people have suffered, and the CQC will refer all such complaints to them. The CQC deals with complaints about registered services as a whole and does not consider individual matters. They can share information with the CQC but only when deemed appropriate. The CQC will redirect individual complaints to the LGO, and the LGO will inform the CQC about outcomes that point to regulatory failures.
To raise a complaint
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call
Local Authority-funded Service Users
Any service user part or wholly funded by their LA can complain directly to the complaints manager (adults) who are employed directly via the LA.
Local Authority Complaints Manager (Adults):
Social Services Local Office:
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council
Town Hall, Ainsworth Street
King William Street
Lancashire County Council
PO Box 78
County Police HQ:
Lancashire Constabulary Headquarters,
Hutton nr Preston,
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
London, SW1P 4QP
Tel. 0345 015 4033
The Local Government Ombudsman
10th Floor, Millbank Tower,
London, SW1P 4QP
Advice Line Tel: 0300 061 0614 [for complainants]
Out of Hours Service (Social Services) – available when social services offices are closed:
Blackburn with Darwen Council – 01254 585585
Lancashire County Council – 0300 123 6722.
To raise concerns, contact:
The Care Quality Commission
Newcastle upon Tyne
Tel. 03000 616161
The CQC will take details of concerns and respond appropriately and proportionately to the information divulged.
Accessible Information and Communication
Dignity and Respect
Duty of Candour
Resources and guidance for Social Care providers:
Concerns about a care service:
CQC Regulation 16: Receiving and acting on complaints:
CQC Complaints Matter:
CQC Regulation 20: Duty of Candour:
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman Annual Review of Complaints:
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman: How to Complain:
All staff, during induction, are made aware of the organisation’s policies and procedures, all of which are used for training updates. All policies and procedures are reviewed and amended where necessary, and staff are made aware of any changes. Observations are undertaken to check skills and competencies. Various methods of training are used, including one to one, online, workbook, group meetings, and individual supervisions. External courses are sourced as required.
Date Reviewed: Wednesday 16th November 2022
Person responsible for updating this policy: Shaun Hargreaves – Registered Manager
Next Review Date: W/C 11th November 2023