Social services complaints procedure for adults and children
Comments and Complaints - how to be heard
If you are unhappy with your social services, you have a right to make a comment or complain.
We aim for high standards but sometimes things do go wrong. Unless you tell us, we will not know that you are unhappy. If you contact us, we will be able to work with you to put things right as soon as possible.
With your help and that of the staff working with you, we can sort out your complaint. Regulations issued by the Welsh Government tell us how we must deal with complaints.
You can make a comment or a complaint by telephone, by email or by letter by contacting the designated complaints officer:
Designated Complaints Officer
Isle of Anglesey County Council
Tel: 01248 752 717
Looking after your personal information
If you make a complaint, we will respect your right to confidentiality. Although we will need to share the information you give us with others who might be dealing with your complaint, we will only do this if necessary.
Stages of the Complaints Process
These are the stages in the complaints process:
The first step in sorting out a problem is to contact someone involved in providing the service or, if you prefer, our complaints officer. This is known as local resolution.
Don’t be afraid to complain. We will take your complaint seriously and will welcome your comments about our services. You will not be in any way disadvantaged due to having made a complaint.
You may contact us in any way you choose – you don’t have to write your complaint down. You are welcome to contact us in Welsh or English. You will receive the same standard of service in both languages, and corresponding in Welsh or English will not lead to any delay.
Once we have received your complaint, a relevant manager or senior practitioner will contact you to offer you a meeting within 10 working days to discuss your complaint. This meeting can be either face-to-face, or over the telephone if you prefer. We will discuss with you what can be done to resolve your complaint.
We will then write to you within five working days of the discussion, to confirm the terms of the resolution of your complaint.
How long will it take?
We aim to resolve your problem and provide you with a letter confirming the resolution within three weeks (15 working days) of receiving and acknowledging your complaint. If for any reason we are unable to resolve your complaint within this timescale, we may seek your agreement to extend the timescale slightly.
What can I do if I’m still not happy?
If you are still unhappy following your discussion with a relevant manager and their letter to you under Stage 1 of the Complaints Procedure, you may ask to have another meeting or telephone discussion with a manager from Social Services. You may ask to discuss your complaint with the same manager again, or ask for a meeting with a different manager from the Service.
If you have tried this and are still dissatisfied, or if you would prefer your complaint to be investigated by someone who is not involved in the Service at all, you may ask for an independent investigation to be carried out. This is known as Stage 2.
What is Stage 2
If you are not satisfied with the way your complaint has been resolved at Stage 1, you can ask for it to progress to Stage 2. Or you can ask to bypass Stage 1 and go straight to Stage 2. At this stage, the person who investigates your complaint is not an officer at Isle of Anglesey County Council.
The independent investigator looking into your complaint at this stage will
- offer to meet with you to discuss your complaint
- examine relevant records held by Social Services
- talk to those involved, such as staff, and check the facts
- write a report with recommendations
You will usually receive a full copy of the investigation report. If it contains information which you are not entitled to see, such as 3rd party information, or information provided by someone who has not given their permission to share it, you will still receive the rest of the report.
If you are under 18, we will also ask an Independent Person, who is completely independent of the Council, to oversee the investigation. This person will not investigate the complaint itself, but will make sure that all parties have been heard, that the complaint has been handled fairly and thoroughly, and that the report is accurate and complete.
What happens next?
The Head of Service and / or the Director of Social Services will read the report and send you a letter to inform you of their response and any actions to be taken by Social Services.
How long will this take?
We will respond to you within five weeks (25 working days) of receiving the confirmed list of points of complaint that you wish to be investigated under Stage 2. If this is not possible for any reason, we will write to explain the delay and inform you of a revised date to receive your response.
What if I’m not sure who to complain to?
If your complaint is about something we have provided jointly with another organisation, e.g. a package of care from both health and social care staff, we will look at your complaint together and usually send you one response.
You may have a complaint about a service we have arranged (commissioned) for you with another care provider, such as a residential or nursing care home, a home care agency, or a day service. Each organisation will have its own complaints process and we will usually send your complaint to them and make sure they deal with it. We will tell you exactly what we are doing.
If you have already complained to another organisation we have commissioned to provide your care, and you are not happy with their response, then we will deal with your complaint at Stage 2 of the Procedure if appropriate.
Complainants have the right to contact the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales if they continue to be dissatisfied after receiving the Stage 2 investigation response.
When matters are subject to concurrent consideration, your complaint may need to be put on hold until the concurrent proceedings have concluded. These proceedings could include legal proceedings, disciplinary proceedings, child protection investigations or adult protection (POVA) investigations.
If this is the case, we will inform you or the reason why we cannot consider your complaint under the Social Services Complaints Procedure at the moment. In such cases, you may, if you wish, resubmit your complaint after the concurrent consideration has concluded.
If you do not wish to complain about a service received by a social services service user, or you wish to complain to another department, please use our Corporate Complaints Procedure.