IL03: How to make a comment, complaint or compliment

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1 April 2015 IL03: How to make a comment, complaint or compliment We welcome all your views. Comments We d like to hear from you if you have a suggestion on how we can improve our service. You can write to us or talk to us in person. You can also contact us by phone, or through social media. All the contact details are given on the next page. Complaints We aim to provide you with the best possible service. So, if we get it wrong, we want to know about it. We aim to sort out complaints quickly and fairly and we will try to sort out any mistake or misunderstanding straight away. Sometimes it may take a bit of time to sort out a problem, but we will tell you how long it will take. If you make a complaint it won t affect any service you get now or in the future. We learn from complaints and, if necessary, we will change things to improve what we do. We keep records of all the complaints we receive and check these records regularly to help us to:

2 see where we need to make changes and improve services; and make sure we are dealing with complaints effectively and consistently. Compliments If you re particularly happy with any part of the service you receive, please tell us. You can write to us at the address on this page, phone us, or tell us in person. We will record your views and pass them on to the people involved. Your comments, complaints and compliments are dealt with by our complaints team. You can contact them at: Complaints Team Adult Social Care East Sussex County Council County Hall St Anne s Crescent Lewes, BN7 1UE Phone: Text message: Fax:

3 Also, East Sussex County Council is on Twitter and on Facebook at facebook.com/eastsussexcc. If you need an interpreter or sign-language interpreter, we can arrange this for you. Making a complaint Who can make a complaint? You, if you are the person who receives the service. Someone acting on your behalf and with your permission. Your next of kin (your partner or other close family member) who has authority to act on your behalf, if you are not able to make decisions for yourself. What you can complain about You can complain about any part of our service, including: your assessments, care plan or review of your services, a poor-quality service, including services we ve arranged but which are delivered by an independent care provider, or our attitude or behaviour. 3

4 Who can help you make a complaint You can ask a friend or relative to speak to us on your behalf, as long as we know they have your permission. Or, if you prefer, you can ask us to put you in touch with an independent organisation such as Citizens Advice, or we can help you find an advocate, who is someone to help you make your complaint. If you need someone to help you make a complaint, please read our fact sheet FS2: Independent advocacy Someone to speak up for you. Page 16 of this leaflet gives you the details of how to get a copy of any of our fact sheets or leaflets. Other organisations If your complaint also involves a service provided by the NHS or another organisation, with your permission we will contact them and agree who will reply to you. We will tell you who will reply to all your complaints. You won t necessarily have to wait for separate replies from each organisation. How to complain A good start is to contact the person or team who has been involved in the situation you are concerned about. They will try to sort things out quickly. 4

5 If you have already done this, or would rather speak to someone else, you can contact our complaints team who will help you. You can contact them by phone, , letter or text message, whichever is easiest for you. Their contact details are further up in this factsheet. What happens when you make a complaint When you contact us with your concerns, you can tell us what you think would put things right. We will see if we can sort out the problem straight away without you needing to do anything else. We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days. In our acknowledgement letter we will let you know: if it is suitable to set up a meeting to discuss your concerns; how long it is likely to take us to look at your complaint; and who will reply to you. This is called your complaint plan. We will try to sort out most complaints within 10 to 20 working days. You will receive a letter from the manager named in your complaint plan, letting you know their findings and 5

6 explaining what they will do to put things right. Sometimes they may not agree with all of your complaint. If so, they will give reasons for this in their letter. If you are not satisfied with the response to your complaint If you are not happy with our response to your complaint, you will have the opportunity to discuss why you are still not happy and what else you think we should do to put things right. We will then consider the points you have raised and look at what we said in the reply to your complaint. We will see if there is any way of sorting out your complaint without having to investigate it further. We may, for example, suggest a meeting with the relevant manager to talk about your concerns. We will write to you to explain what further action, if any, we can take to deal with your complaint. If your complaint is very complicated, we may decide that we should investigate it further. Sometimes complaints are so serious or complicated that they need to be investigated by someone who is not directly involved with the service. If this is the case, we will appoint an investigating officer to look into your complaint. 6

7 Local Government Ombudsman If you are not happy with the final decision or the way we have dealt with your complaint, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman for their views. PO Box 4771 Coventry, CV4 0EH Phone: or Text message: (Text call back to this number, and an adviser will call you back.) Fax: Website: Online form: Exceptions and special circumstances Information that comes from, or is connected to, a complaint may lead to: action under our staff procedures; a police criminal investigation; an investigation to protect an adult at risk or a child; or a legal process, such as applying for a court order or a claim of negligence being made against us. 7

8 When this happens, we might need to put the complaints procedure on hold until these other processes are finished. We will tell you why we need to do this, and we will deal with your complaint as soon as possible. If your comment or complaint is about local health services Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) provide confidential, advice and support about any concerns you may have about the care provided by East Sussex Healthcare. This service is independent and acts on your behalf to sort out problems quickly. You can contact PALS at Conquest Hospital or Eastbourne District General Hospital. Conquest Hospital The Ridge St. Leonards-on-Sea, TN37 7RD Phone: Eastbourne District General Hospital Kings Drive Eastbourne, BN21 2UD Phone:

9 The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has its own Service Experience team who can help you with comments, compliments, enquiries or complaints for mental-health services. They are at: Swandean Hospital, Arundel Road Worthing BN13 3EP Phone: NHS England If you have tried to settle your complaint at a local level and this has failed, you can make an official complaint to NHS England. Complaints Manager, NHS England PO Box Redditch, B97 9PT Phone: (Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, except bank holidays in England) 9

10 (Put For the attention of the complaints manager in the subject line.) Keeping people safe Abuse can come in many forms. It could be in the form of discrimination against a person, or financial, physical, emotional, sexual, verbal or domestic abuse. It could also be that a person is being neglected or they may be neglecting themselves. Abuse is a harmful act against another person. It can be: physical including assault, hitting, slapping, pushing, misuse of medication, domestic abuse physical, sexual, psychological, financial and emotional abuse and honour based violence, psychological including emotional abuse, threats of harm, deprivation of contact, neglect and acts of omission ill treatment, or a poor standard of care, financial or material stealing, defrauding or persuading someone to hand over money or property, sexual sexual activity that someone does not want or cannot prevent, organisational poor delivery of care, 10

11 self-neglect neglecting to care for one s personal hygiene, health or surroundings, modern day slavery encompasses slavery, forced labour and domestic servitude, or discriminatory treating someone badly, for example because of their age, disability or ethnic background. Caring for another person can be very rewarding but also very demanding. Sometimes people who are being cared for can harm or abuse their carer. This can happen because they have a condition that changes their behaviour. When a carer is managing a challenging situation, this may lead to them abusing or neglecting the person they care for whether this is intentional or unintentional. Everyone has a right to live free from abuse and neglect. If you suspect someone is at risk of abuse, you have a duty to report it. If you are at risk of abuse as a carer, you should also report this so that there could be an enquiry in to the situation and the appropriate steps taken to protect you and the person you care for. This is essential for both the well being of the carer and the adult they care for. 11

12 To report abuse, contact Adult Social Care Direct (the contact details are at the top of these pages). In an emergency you can call 999 for immediate help. What will happen next? We will take any report of abuse or neglect, including if a person is neglecting themselves, seriously and will ensure the circumstances are looked into fully in a fair and confidential way. The police may be involved if a crime is suspected. Professionals will: talk with the person who has been abused or neglected and any other relevant people and to ask what they want to happen in relation to the concern, and plan together how to keep the person safe in future. Getting involved If you would like to be involved in shaping our services, you could join the People Bank, a database of volunteers who have an interest in our services. Membership is voluntary and there are many ways you can be involved. You could, for example, take part in a one-off consultation event, or join a working group for a specific project. When you register you can give details of 12

13 how you would like to contribute and the services you are interested in. The People Bank will be able to match you with opportunities when they are available. If you are interested in joining the People Bank, or would like more information, phone , eastsussex.gov.uk or visit eastsussex.gov.uk/volunteering. Getting more information about health and social care For more information about adult social care, please read our other leaflets and fact sheets. You can get them from us, or you can download them from the website at eastsussex.gov.uk. Adult Social Care Direct Phone: (Calls are charged at your phone company s local rate and may be recorded.) Textphone: Text message: Opening hours: 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Fridays 13

14 Health information You can find information about your health needs and local health services from the NHS website at nhs.uk. Or you can use the links from the East Sussex County Council website to find local health services. If you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a lifethreatening situation, you can phone NHS 111 for free (open 24 hours a day, seven days a week). Sussex Mental Healthline Sussex Mental Healthline provides out-of-hours support and information on mental-health issues for residents of East Sussex. Phone: (Calls are charged at your phone company s local rate.) Website: 14

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