Specialising in providing professional Personal Assistants for adults with disabilities

Good Standard Care Quality Comission

01904 217 522

admin@yorkpersonalsupport.co.uk

Compliments and Complaints

COMPLIMENTS AND COMPLAINTS
POLICIES

York Personal Support

Compliments Policy

Last updated: 01-10-2023

Introduction

We want to make sure that everyone can contact and communicate with us. Please let us know if you would like help in making your views known.. We always encourage open communication about your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the service we provide. We want you to know that you can always tell us about your experiences of the service you receive and we welcome suggestions from you on how we can improve things.
It is always encouraging when you feel motivated enough to compliment us or a member of staff for something you feel they have done well, “over and above the call of duty” etc. Naturally, we want to ensure others know you have passed on a compliment because they too feel encouraged and this filters down to the standard of care we provide.
We are happy to receive any compliment in whatever manner you see fit. If it is possible that you can let the Registered Manager know of your compliment this helps us ensure that others may be encouraged to let us know. It is important that staff have positive feedback which helps to balance any negative views of their performance. Everyone needs to know how well they do, as well as areas where improvements are required.

York Personal Support values your privacy and cares about the way in which your personal information is treated.

Registered Manager: Deborah Parker
Contact Address: York Personal Support, York Science Park, Innovation Centre, Innovation Way, York, YO10 5DG

Of course, if you are pleased, a letter to the Regional Director of our Inspectorate is very welcome. The details for such a letter are:
The Care Quality Commission
Citygate, Gallowgate
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4PA

Good news is always encouraging, if you could send us a copy of that letter, we can use it to encourage others too by passing the information on.
Wherever possible we would hope that you can come and tell us when you are unhappy about something, or have a suggestion for an improvement to the service we provide, it may only seem like a “small thing” but if it matters to you then it matters to us, and we would like to do all we can to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
All comments are taken seriously so that we can resolve any niggles. Where you feel this has not happened, we encourage you to utilise our separate complaints procedure.

York Personal Support

Complaints Policy

Last updated: 29-01-2024

Introduction

This policy is intended to ensure that complaints are dealt with properly and that all complaints or comments by Service Users or their relatives, carers, and advocates are taken seriously. It is not designed to apportion blame, consider the possibility of negligence, or provide compensation. It is not part of the company’s Disciplinary Policy or Grievance Process.
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 Users and families in their Service Users 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:
• Ensure that the complaints process is accessible
• Ensure that the complaints process is straightforward for Service Users and their representatives
• Ensure that an appropriate system is in place to keep Service Users informed throughout the complaints process
• Ensure that the complaints process is resolution-focused
• Ensure that quality assurance processes are in place to enable organisational learning and service improvement from complaints and customer feedback

Any complaints made by staff will be signposted to the Grievance policy if the
the complaint relates to them as an individual, or via the Whistleblowing policy
where a protected disclosure is made.

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:
• Service Users, 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
• A named person will be responsible for the administration of the procedure
• We will acknowledge a complaint in 3 working days
• All complaints are investigated within 14 days of being made
• All complaints are responded to in writing within 28 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 Service Users and staff.

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:
• Service Users, 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
• A named person will be responsible for the administration of the procedure
• We will acknowledge a complaint in 3 working days
• All complaints are investigated within 14 days of being made
• All complaints are responded to in writing within 28 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 Service Users and staff.

Responsibilities
The registered manager is responsible for following through with complaints. However, there may be a specific post with responsibility for complaints. Communication between this post and the registered manager should be clear and transparent so that the registered manager can demonstrate evidence of compliance.
If the complaint is concerning the registered manager then another manager or
director on the senior management team will handle the complaint. Information on
where to send the complaint or whom to speak to, if it involves the registered
manager is included in the complaints procedure in the service user guide.

Complaints From A Representative
If the Service User directly affected does not want to complain themselves, they can ask someone else to make the complaint on their behalf and represent them throughout the process.
A representative can be anyone such as:
• A family member
• A friend
• An advocate
• A legal representative
There is no restriction on who may act as a representative and this list is not exhaustive.
Our organisation will support them by signposting Service Users to an advocate if they do not have any other representation and are not happy to raise the complaint themselves.
Our organisation can only accept complaints from a representative In certain situations. These are;
• Where it is known that the Service User has consented, either verbally or in writing (and this includes the willingness for us to share personal information with the representative)
• Where the Service User cannot complain unaided and cannot give consent because they lack capacity in line with the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and the representative is acting in the Service User’s best interests
If the Service User does not consent to us discussing the complaint with their representative then we take this into account. We will explain to the person making the complaint that only the issues that directly affect them can be investigated. If we do not have consent to share personal information about the Service User we will not be able to investigate any matters relating to the Service User or share personal information about the Service User which may leave some of their concerns unanswered.
If we receive a complaint where the Service User directly affected does not have the capacity to consent to the complaint being made on their behalf, we first determine if the person making the complaint on their behalf has a legitimate interest in the person’s welfare and that there is no conflict of interest. We also need to determine if the person making the complaint has a right of access to the personal information of the Service User directly affected. E.g. are they an attorney with authority to manage the property and affairs of the individual or are they a person appointed by the Courts to make decisions about such matters.

Complaints Procedure
Verbal 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
• 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 on
• Details of all verbal and written complaints must be recorded in the complaints book, the Service User’s file, and the home records.

Serious or Written Complaints
Preliminary steps:
• When we receive a written complaint, it is passed to the designated lead manager, who records it in the complaints book and sends an acknowledgement letter within 3 working days to the complainant
• With this letter, the manager also includes a leaflet detailing the organisation’s procedure for the complainant. (The designated lead is the named person who deals with the complaint through our process)
• If necessary, further details are obtained from the complainant. If the complaint is not made by the Service User but on the Service User’s behalf, the consent of the Service User, preferably in writing, must be obtained from the complainant where required
• If the complaint raises potentially serious matters, advice could be sought from a legal advisor. If legal action is taken at this stage, any investigation by the organisation under the complaints procedure ceases immediately
Investigation of the complaint by the organisation:
• Immediately on receipt of the complaint, the complaints manager 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 28 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
Meeting:
• 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
Follow-up action:
After the meeting or if the complainant does not want a meeting, a written account of
the investigation will be sent to the complainant.

• If the complainant is not happy with the response they receive or if they have not received an answer within a reasonable time, they can complain to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman.
• The Ombudsman believes that up to 12 weeks is a reasonable time for a council or care provider to look at a complaint and reply to the complainant
• The outcomes of the investigation and the meeting are recorded in the complaints book and any shortcomings in company procedures will be identified and acted upon
• The company management formally reviews all complaints at least every six months as part of its quality monitoring and improvement procedures to identify the lessons learned.

Vexatious Complainers
This organisation takes seriously any comments or complaints regarding its service. However, some Service Users 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 repeated investigations become less of a burden on the organisation, its staff, and other Service Users.
Accessibility
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.
The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO)
Investigate all complaints about adult care services, care provided by a council or care arranged directly with a care provider by:
• Someone paying with their own or family money
• Someone using money provided by a council, via direct payment for example
There is a step-by-step process for making an online complaint on the LGSCO website or a phone number to contact them.
A complaint should be made within 12 months of the problem. If left any longer the
Ombudsman may not be able to help.
The LGSCO works to promote high-quality services for all people who use adult social care services. This is particularly the case where when investigating a complaint the LGSCO detect service failures by a care provider that may affect its registration status. An information-sharing agreement and memorandum of understanding set out how information is shared.
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.
Relevant Contacts
Local Authority Complaints Manager (Adults):
Customer Complaints & Feedback Team, City of York Council, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA. Tel: 01904 554145.

Social Services Local Office:
Adult Social Care Team, City of York Council, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA. Tel: 01904 555111.

County Police HQ:
North Yorkshire Police, Fulford Road Police Station, Fulford Road, York, YO10 4BY.

Out of Hours Service (Social Services) – available when social services offices are closed:
Tel: 01609 780780

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (NHS funded Service Users)
Millbank Tower
Millbank
London, SW1P 4QP
Tel. 0345 015 4033

The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman
10th Floor, Millbank Tower,
Millbank,
London, SW1P 4QP
Advice Line Tel: 0300 061 0614 [for complainants]