Complaints Procedure Plus Form
• 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
• Complaints Form
Constantia Care Ltd’s policy is intended to comply with Regulation 16 CQC (Care Quality Comission) regulations.
This organisation accepts the rights of clients, their advocates, carers and others involved in a clients care to make complaints and to register comments and concerns about the services received. It further accepts that the complainant 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, the complainants 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 clients, their advocates and carers. Clients or their advocates are informed about our complaints policy at the initial assessment stage and a hard copy of this policy and proecedure is in every client home in the client file. Carers are informed of our complaints policy during their induction and have access to this via the Access Care Planning application (ACP).
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:
1. Ensure that the complaints process is accessible.
2. Ensure that the complaints process is straightforward for clients and their representatives.
3. Ensure that an appropriate system is in place to keep service users informed throughout the complaints process.
4. Ensure that the complaints process is resolution focused.
5. Ensure that quality assurance processes are in place to enable organisational learning and service improvement from complaints and customer feedback.
Aim of the Complaints Procedure
We aim to ensure that the complaints procedure is properly and effectively implemented and that clients, carers and others involved in the clients care feel confident that their complaints and worries are listened to and acted upon promptly and fairly. Specifically, we aim to ensure that:
• Clients, carers, and their representatives are aware of how to complain, and that the company provides easy-to-use opportunities for them to register their complaints.
• Every written complaint is acknowledged within three working days.
• All complaints are investigated within 14 days of being made.
• All complaints are responded to in writing within 14 days of being made.
• Complaints are dealt with promptly, fairly and sensitively, with due regard to the upset and worry that they can cause to both clients, their advocates and Carers.
The Registered Manager is responsible for overseeing that the complaints policy and procedure is executed correctly and escalated to the appropriate department Manager. The Registered Manager will also be involved in complaints handling wherever necessary. The Registered Manager is responsible for reviewing and auditing the Complaints, Comments and Compliments matrix on a monthly basis to ensure that Constantia Care is acting on complaints appropriatley.
• The organisation accepts that all verbal complaints, no matter how seemingly unimportant, must be taken seriously.
• Front-line Carers 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 escalate the problem to a member of the office staff, likely, their Care Coordinator.
• The member of staff must aim to understand the complaint and escalate this to the appropriate department manager.
• 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 client 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 meeting where minutes are taken or written correspondence).
• If the suggested plan of action is not acceptable to the complainant, the member of staff or manager will escalate the complaint 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 on the CCC matrix.
Serious or Written Complaints
When we receive a written complaint, it is passed to the appropriate department manager and the complainant will received written confirmation of the complaint within 3 working days.
Should the complainant request an additional copy of our complaints procedure, this will be provided by the complaint receiver.
If necessary, the member of staff dealing with the complaint will as the complainant further details. If the complaint is not made by the client but on the clients behalf, the consent of the service user (whilst working in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005), preferably in writing, must be obtained from the complainant where required.
If the complaint raises potentially serious matters, advice could be sought from the Safeguarding Lead and legal advisor. If legal action is taken at this stage, any investigation by the organisation under the complaint’s procedure ceases immediately.
Investigation of the complaint by the organisation:
Immediately on receipt of the complaint, the member of the management team who the complaint has been escalated to will start an investigation and, within 14 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 for the investigation to be completed within 14 days, the complainant will be informed of any delays.
Where the complaint cannot be resolved between the parties, an arbitration service will be used. This service and its findings will be final to both parties. The cost of this will be borne by the organisation.
If a meeting is arranged, the complainant will be advised that they may, if so desired, bring a friend, relative, or a representative, such as an advocate.
At the meeting, a detailed explanation of the results of the investigation will be given, in addition to an apology, if deemed appropriate (an apology is not necessarily an admission of liability).
Such a meeting allows the management to show the complainant that the matter has been taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.
After the meeting or if the complainant does not want a meeting, a written account of the investigation will be sent to the complainant. This includes details of how to approach the CQC, if the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome, utilising the link below to their website in order to give feedback:
The outcomes of the investigation and the meeting are recorded on the CCC Spreadsheet and any shortcomings in company procedures will be identified and acted upon.
The company management formally reviews all complaints monthly as part of its quality monitoring and improvement procedures to identify the lessons learned.
Constantia Care takes seriously any comments or complaints regarding its service. However, there are clients 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.
Policies and procedures are available in accessible formats, well publicised, readily available and accessible to individuals using the service, their families, significant others, visitors, staff and others working at the service.
Accessible Information Standard (AIS): Constantia Care adheres to the AIS. We have an obligation to ensure that any information we are sharing with you is accessible based on your communication needs. We will be able to provide you with the appropriate information and tools so that you can communicate effectively with us so please let us know if you would like a specific format of communication e.g. larger font, brail, audio recording, British sign language, email, telephone. You can contact us on 02076249966 via email at email@example.com, or via our website chat portal online at www.constantiacare.co.uk
Local Government Ombudsman (LGO)
Since October 2010 the Local Government and Social Care 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).
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.
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.
Citizens Advice Bureau:
www.citizensadvice.org.uk 0800 144 8848
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]
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.
This policy will be reviewed by the Registered Manager.
Signed: Ellie Edwards
Review Date: 04.02.23
These pages tell you how to make a complaint about Constantia Care Ltd: its services or its staff and carers.
If you’re not happy, we’d like to hear about it.
At Constantia Care we do everything we can to ensure our clients get the best possible service, but occasionally we get things wrong. If you have a concern or complaint, we want to resolve it, quickly and simply.
If you are unhappy about any aspect of the services we provide, please talk to us. By talking to the member of staff you usually deal with, the manager, we can often clear up any issues quickly. They will discuss the problem with you and agree with you what to do next.
If it is not possible to sort out your problem in this way and you wish to make a formal complaint about Constantia Care, the next page explains how to do it.
If the complaint you wish to make is about another organisation, our office will provide you with information about how to make this type of complaint.
How should you complain?
If you do not wish, for any reason, to talk to a specific member of staff because you have done so already and the problem remains, you should contact the office and ask to speak with a member of the management team.
You can complete the form at the end of this leaflet, write a letter, email, or contact the office directly on 02076249966.
If you wish to make a complaint outside normal office hours please call 02076249966 and you will be transferred to the on call Manager immediately or they will call you back if they dealing with any other issues at the time.
Constantia Care complaints procedure
The complaints procedure has two stages. In certain situations, your complaint may go straight to stage two rather than starting at stage one.
In such cases, you will receive a written acknowledgement from a member of the management team, usually the Registered Manager.
Stage one – local resolution
Your complaint will be acknowledged within three working days of receipt and will be referred to the relevant department manager.
The department manager will conduct a full investigation and will make every effort to send you a full response within 14 working days.
On the rare occasion when this is not possible, we will provide an update on progress made and explain the reason for the delay.
This letter or email will also give some indication of when the investigation will be completed.
Stage two – regional resolution
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the relevant manager at stage one, you can request an internal review by the Registered manager. This should be requested within 28 working days of the date of the final written response or meeting.
The Registered Manager will acknowledge within three working days that your complaint is under review.
They will review the handling of your complaint and conduct further investigations where necessary and will then contact you within 14 working days to let you know the outcome of that review.
We will do everything we can to help resolve your complaint. In the event that we cannot and where we have exhausted our internal process, you may wish to contact the appropriate regulator or ombudsman.
Please fill in this form if you wish to make a complaint
We will not give your name or any details on this form to anyone who does not need them. We may however have to talk to people outside of Constantia Care, so that we can take the right action to deal with your complaint.
Your telephone number:
Are you complaining on behalf of our Client? Yes / No
The name of the Client:
Have you complained about this before? Yes / No
What was the name of the person you spoke/wrote to?
Do you know the date on which you complained?
Please outline your complaint
The use of this procedure does not affect your rights to complain to the Care Quality Commission.
Office use only