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Complaints Procedure

Policy Statement

My Homecare accepts the rights of service users to make complaints and to register concerns about the services received. It further accepts that they should find it easy to do so. It welcomes complaints and looks upon 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.

The policy is not designed to apportion blame, to consider the possibility of negligence or to provide compensation. It is not part of the agency’s disciplinary policy.

My Homecare believes that failure to listen to or acknowledge complaints leads to an aggravation of problems, service user dissatisfaction and possible litigation. My Homecare 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 My Homecare.

My Homecare acts on the basis that, wherever possible, complaints are best dealt with on a local level between the complainant and their Registered Manager.

Aim of the Complaints Procedure.

My Homecare aims 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.

Specifically it aims to ensure that:

1. Service users, carers and their representatives are aware of how to complain and that My Homecare provides easy to use opportunities for them to register their complaints

2. A named person will be responsible for the administration of the Complaints procedure

3. My Homecare will aim to acknowledge all written complaints within two working days.

4. All complaints are investigated within 28 days of being made.

5. All complaints are responded to in writing within 28 days of being made.

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.

Responsibilities

My Homecare :-

The named complaints manager with responsibility for following through complaints for My Homecare is:

David Johnson, Business Development Manager, Viewpoint, Derwentside Business Park, Consett, Co.Durham, DH8 6BP

E-mail david@my-homecare.co.uk
Telephone 03300 415 485

Following your complaint, if you feel your complaint has not been dealt with to a conclusion or you are unhappy with the way the complaint has been dealt with you may contact the:-

Care Quality Commission
Citygate
Gallowgate
Newcastle Upon Tyne
NE1 4PA

Telephone: 03000 616161

In the event of the complaint involving alleged abuse or a suspicion that abuse has occurred, the organisation will refer the matter immediately to the Local Safeguarding Board manager. Usually the board will call a strategy meeting to decide on the actions to be taken next. This could entail an assessment of the allegation by a member of the Safeguarding Authority team.

Complaints Procedure

Verbal complaints

1. My Homecare accepts that all verbal complaints, no matter how seemingly unimportant, must be taken seriously.

2. My Homecare branch who receive a verbal complaint are expected to seek to solve the problem.

3. 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.

4. At all times in responding to the complaint, staff are encouraged to remain calm and respectful.

5. Staff should not accept blame, make excuses or blame other staff.

6. 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.

7. After talking the problem through, the Team Leader or member of the Senior Management Team dealing with the complaint will 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).

8. If the suggested plan of action is not acceptable to the complainant, then the member of staff or manager will ask the complainant to put their complaint in writing to the Care Manager. The complainant should be given a copy of My Homecare complaints procedure if they do not already have one.

9. Details of all verbal and written complaints must be recorded in the Complaints

Book and the Service User’s file.

Serious or written complaints

1. Preliminary steps:

1. When My Homecare receives a written complaint it passes it to the branch most Senior Manager who records it in the Complaint Book and aims to send an acknowledgment letter within two working days to the complainant

2. The manager also includes a leaflet detailing My Homecare procedure for the complainant. (The complaints manager is the named person who deals with the complaint through the process)

3. The manager will inform Head Office of the details of the complaint.

4. 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, then consent of the service user, preferably in writing, must be obtained from the complainant

5. 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 My Homecare under the complaints procedure immediately ceases.

6. If the complainant is not prepared to have the investigation conducted by the organisation he or she should be advised to contact the local authority (if it provides the individual’s funding) or the Local Government Ombudsman service (if the individual self-funds) or an organization such as Age UK or Counsel and Care, which can provide advice on how to proceed. The CQC could also be contacted under these circumstances, though it will not investigate a complaint directly.

2. Investigation of the complaint by My Homecare:

1. Immediately on receipt of the complaint, the complaints manager services start 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

2. If the issues are too complex to complete the investigation within 28 days, the complainant will be informed of any delays.

3. Meeting:

1. If a meeting is arranged, the complainant will be advised that they may if they wish bring a friend, relative or a representative such as an advocate

2. at the meeting a detailed explanation of the results of the investigation will 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 agency management the opportunity to show the complainant that the matter has been taken seriously and has been thoroughly investigated.

4. Follow-up action:

1. 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 Care Quality Commission if the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome.

2. The outcomes of the investigation and the meeting are recorded in the Complaint Book and any shortcomings in agency procedures will be identified and acted upon

3. The outcome of the complaint is documented and forwarded to Head Office.

4. The My Homecare management at both branch and Head Office, formally review all complaints at least every six months as part of its quality monitoring and improvement procedures to identify the lessons learned.