Making a Complaint
Inter-County accepts the rights of clients 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 clients 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 company’s disciplinary policy.
We believe that failure to listen to or acknowledge complaints leads to an aggravation of problems, client dissatisfaction and possible litigation. We support the idea that most complaints, if dealt with clearly, openly and honestly, can be sorted at a local level between just the complainant and Inter-County.
Inter-County acts on the basis that, wherever possible, complaints are best dealt with on a local level between the complainant and the company’s management.
Aim of the Complaints Procedure:-
Inter-County aims to ensure that its complaints procedure is properly and effectively implemented and that clients feel confident that their complaints and worries are listened to and acted upon promptly and fairly.
Specifically we aim to ensure that:
- clients, carers, users and their representatives are aware of how to complain and that Inter-County provides easy to use opportunities for them to register their complaints
- a named person is responsible for the administration of the procedure
- all complaints, (both verbal and written) are acknowledged within 5 working days
- all complaints are fully investigated and responded to in writing within 28 days of being made
- all complaints are dealt with promptly, fairly and sensitively, with due regard to the upset and worry that they can cause to both staff and clients.
Furthermore, Inter-County Nursing & Care Services will:
- cooperate with any independent review or process that might take place as a result of a complaint being escalated externally.
- provide to the Commission (within 28 days) when requested to do so a summary of:
- complaints made
- response given by us, including any further correspondence with the Complainant; and
- any other relevant information that the Commission may request.
- act in accordance with Regulation 20: Duty of Candor in respect of complaints about care and treatment that have resulted in a notifiable safety incident.
Inter-County Nursing & Care Services maintains a record of all complaints and compliments, so that we may continually monitor, review and assess our performance making necessary changes as required.
Making a Complaint
- You can make a complaint to any member of staff, either verbally or in writing.
- The problem should be discussed with your care worker in the first instance, who will do his/her best to resolve the problem quickly and to your satisfaction. If you feel unable to discuss the problem with the person concerned, the local office should be contacted using the address or telephone number given at the front of this guide.
- If you do not wish to make the complaint personally, you may ask a friend or relative to make the complaint on your behalf. If you do not know anyone who is prepared to act on your behalf, we will be happy to find someone from an independent organisation to act as an advocate for you.
- Inter-County Nursing & Care Services will still follow the complaints process (as far as possible) where complaints are received from individuals who do not wish to identify themselves.
- All complaints will be passed to the Manager of the branch who will carry out a thorough investigation without delay. The Manager will write to you within 5 working days to acknowledge receipt of the complaint and tell you what steps they are taking to resolve it. If there is no immediate solution, the matter will be investigated fully and the Manager will write to you within 28 days detailing their findings. We will respond to any failures identified and will confirm what actions we have taken to prevent similar complaints occurring.
- There may be occasions where the nature of the complaint requires us to refer the matter to appropriate authorities for investigation such as professional regulators or local authority safeguarding teams. In these circumstances we may be bound by statutory obligations to report our concerns or share confidential information about your complaint.
- If at any stage, you are unhappy with the way in which the local office has dealt with your complaint, you can refer the matter using the contact details given below:
Miss Caroline Hempstead - Operations Director
Inter-County Nursing & Care Services Ltd.
The Old Court House
20 Simpson Road
- 01908 379148
- If you are not satisfied with how your complaint has been managed or the response that has been given by Inter-County Nursing & Care Services, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. There are three local government ombudsmen in England. They each deal with complaints from different parts of the country.
However, you should first send your complaint to:
The Local Government Ombudsman,
PO Box 4771, Coventry CV4 0EH.
- 0300 061 0614 or 0845 602 1983.
INTER-COUNTY NURSING & CARE SERVICES GIVES COMPLETE ASSURANCE THAT THE SERVICE PROVIDED WILL NOT BE JEOPARDISED IN ANY WAY AS A RESULT OF A COMPLAINT BEING MADE.
Inter-County will ensure that:
- The person making the complaint will not be discriminated against or victimised.
- The person receiving care will not be affected if they or someone on their behalf complains.
Making a complaint when care is funded by your local council
In the first instance, you should make your complaint known to us. We will respond to you using the above procedure. If you are not happy with the reply you receive from us, you can take your complaint to your local social services department. You will need to follow their complaints procedure – your social worker, care manager or the department itself will explain what to do. You can find the address of your local social services department by using the following website link: www.gov.uk.
Inter-County Nursing & Care Services or the social services department will try to sort out your complaint and put things right to prevent the same thing happening again.
If you are not happy with the reply you get:
If you are not satisfied with the final reply from Inter-County Nursing & Care Services or your local social services department, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman – details of which are given above.
Sharing your experience with CQC
Even though the Care Quality Commission (CQC) cannot look into complaints about health care or social care services, they would like to hear from you if you are not happy about the care you have received or if you want to share any positive feedback you have about our services.
You can contact the CQC in a number of different ways:
Who else can help?
Complaining can be a difficult experience. Here are some organisations that can give helpful advice and support:
AgeUK (Formerly known as Help the Aged and Age Concern)
Provides information and advice to older people and their families. Contact the Age Concern information line on 0800 009966 or visit www.ageconcern.org.uk.
Counsel and Care
A national charity that works with older people, their families and carers to help them get the best care and support. It provides advice and information on many different issues, including how to complain about health care or social care.
The Counsel and Care advice line is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm (Wednesdays, 10am to 1pm) on 0845 300 7585 or visit www.counselandcare.org.uk.
Citizens Advice provides free, confidential and independent advice from over 3,000 locations, including in their bureaux, GP surgeries, hospitals, colleges, prisons and courts. Advice is available face-to-face and by phone. Most of their bureaux offer home visits and some also provide email advice. To find out more, visit www.citizensadvice.org.uk.
Please contact your local branch if you would like this information provided to you in large print or audio format.