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Adult social care complaints

Who can complain?

Adult social care, housing and benefits complaints can be made by anyone who:

  • is receiving or has received services from adult social care
  • is affected, or likely to be affected, by the action, omission or decision of adult social care services
  • a representative, acting on behalf of a person who has died, or is unable to make the complaint themselves because they have:
    • a physical incapacity
    • a lack of capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005
    • requested that a representative act on their behalf

Please note that there is a time limit of 12 months from when the matter being complained about occurred, to when a complaint may be made. After this time, a complaint will not normally be considered.

The process

We aim to resolve all complaints at the earliest opportunity. Complaints will be acknowledged within 3 working days and stage 1 responses provided within 10 working days. This may be extended to 20 working days for more complex complaints.

Our complaints procedure for adult social care, housing and benefits has 3 stages.

Stage 1 – resolution stage

It is important for you to try and tell the people working with you or your family if you are unhappy with what is happening. This could include talking to the social worker or a member of staff. You can also make your complaint to the complaints manager using our online form. This will be sent to the team manager for resolution.

We can try to explain, put things right, apologise if appropriate and learn from what you tell us. We will try to do this within 10 working days.

Stage 2 – formal complaint investigation

If you are not satisfied, you have the right to ask for a formal complaint investigation. This must be within 20 working days following the stage 1 response. 

The formal complaint goes to the director of the service area concerned. They will allocate it to an appropriate officer to deal with.

Any complaint based on discrimination, victimisation or harassment will go straight to stage 2.

Stage 3 – Chief Executive’s investigation

The Chief Executive will consider whether the complaint has been dealt with properly. If not, they may set up a review panel.