Complaints Policy

Complaints Policy

This Company believes that if a service user wishes to make a complaint or register a concern they should fi nd it easy to do so. It is the company’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 and their relatives and carers 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 the Company’s disciplinary policy.

The Company believes that failure to listen to or acknowledge complaints will lead to an aggravation of problems, service user dissatisfaction and possible litigation. The Company supports the concept that most complaints, if dealt with early, openly and honestly, can be sorted at a local level between just the complainant and the company. At any time in the process or if this fails due to either the company or the complainant being dissatisfied with the result the complaint will be referred to the Care Commission for Scotland and /or the Social Work Dept and legal advice will be taken as per necessary.

Who can complain? Any service user who is receiving care/ support, the service user’s family, the service user’s advocate or other care professionals involved with the service user’s well-being.

How do I complain? You can make your complaint in writing, by telephone, e-mail or in person.

Aim

The aim of the Company 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.

Goals

The goals of the Company are to ensure the following:

  1. Service users, their representatives and carers are aware of how to complain and that the company provides easy to use opportunities for them to register their complaints.
  2. A named person will be responsible for the administration of the procedure.
  3. Every complaint is acknowledged within three working days.
  4. Investigations into written complaints are held within 28 days.
  5. All complaints are responded to in writing by the company.
  6. 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 for the company is: Associate Director of Care.

The company believes that, wherever possible, complaints are best dealt with on a local level between the complainant and the company, however any complainant can approach either the Care Commission or Social Work Dept at any time in the process. If either of the parties is not satisfied by a local process the case should be referred to the Care Commission for Scotland and/or the Social Work Dept.

The local Care Commission for Scotland office is: The Care Commission, South West Region, Solway House, Dumfries Enterprise Park, Tinwald Downs Road, Dumfries DG1 3SJ Tel: 01387 734980 Web: www.carecommission.com

The local Social Work Dept office is: Annan Town Hall, High Street, Annan Tel: 01461 203311

 

Oral Complaints

  1. All oral complaints, no matter how seemingly unimportant, should be taken seriously.
  2. Front-line care staff who receive an oral complaint should seek to solve the problem immediately.
  3. If staff cannot solve the problem immediately they should offer to get the Supervisor/Senior Carer to deal with the problem.
  4. All contact with the complainant should be polite, courteous and sympathetic. There is nothing to be gained by staff adopting a defensive or aggressive attitude.
  5. At all times staff should remain calm and respectful.
  6. Staff should not accept blame, make excuses or blame other staff.
  7. 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 prior to discussing the complaint with the advocate.
  8. After talking the problem through, the Supervisor/Senior Carer or the member of staff dealing with the complaint should suggest a course of action to resolve the complaint. If this course of action is acceptable then the member of staff should clarify the agreement with the complainant and agree a way in which the results of the complaint will be communicated to the complainant (i.e. through another meeting or by letter).
  9. If the suggested plan of action is not acceptable to the complainant then the member of staff or Supervisor/Senior Carer should ask the complainant to put their complaint in writing to the company and give them a copy of the company’s complaints procedure.
  10. In both cases details of the complaints should be recorded in the complaints book.

Written Complaints - Preliminary steps

  1. When a complaint is received in writing it should be passed on to the Associate Director of Care who should record it in the complaints book and send an acknowledgment letter within three working days. The Associate Director of Care will be the named person who deals with the complaint through the process.
  2. 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.
  3. A leaflet detailing the company’s procedure should be forwarded to the complainant.
  4. If the complaint raises potentially serious matters, advice should be sought from a legal advisor to the company. If legal action is taken at this stage any investigation by the company under the complaints procedure should cease immediately.
  5. If the complainant is not prepared to have the investigation conducted by the company he or she should be advised to contact the Care Inspectorate for Scotland and/or the Social Work Dept and be given the relevant contact details.

In the event of a complaint having criminal implications the matter will be passed on to the Police.

Investigation of the complaint

  1. Immediately on receipt of the complaint the company should launch an investigation and within 28 days the company 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. A full report of the complaint should be made to the Associate Director of Care Services.
  2. If the issues are too complex to complete the investigation within 28 days, the complainant should be informed of any delays.

Meeting

  1. If a meeting is arranged the complainant should be advised that they may, if they wish, bring a friend or relative or a representative such as an advocate.
  2. 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).
  3. Such a meeting gives the company the opportunity to show the complainant that the matter has been taken seriously and has been thoroughly investigated.

Follow-up action

  1. After the meeting, or if the complainant does not want a meeting, a written account of the investigation should be sent to the complainant. This should include details of how to approach Care Inspectorate for Scotland if the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome.
  2. The outcomes of the investigation and the meeting should be recorded in the complaints book and any shortcomings in company procedures should be identified and acted upon.
  3. The company should discuss complaints and their outcome at a formal business meeting and the company’s complaints procedure should be audited by the Associate Director of Care Services every year.

Training

The Company’s Trainer is responsible for organising and co-ordinating training. All of the company’s 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.

Complaints Form

There is a complaints form enclosed in the service user’s introductory pack. This can be used for a written complaint or the service user, their carer, relative or advocate can phone the JPM office and discuss any complaints or concerns with the Supervisor/Senior Carer.

Termination

If you are a self-funding service user, one weeks notice on either side is needed when you wish to stop your community care visits.

Quality Assurance

JPM Community Care Services has a comprehensive Quality Assurance Questionnaire, which is given to you on a 6 monthly basis. In this way we can monitor your views on the service provided so that we can continuously improve quality. Fuller information is to be found in the Policies & Procedures Manual.

Anti Discrimination Policy

No discrimination whatsoever will be permitted for any reason of race, ethnic backgrounds, colour, religion, marital status disability, gender or sexual orientation.

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Get in touch

If you would like an informal discussion please contact the Home Manager or

Director of Care Services
T: 01461 206218
E: headoffice@meadmedica.co.uk