Every year Carers in Hertfordshire works with thousands of unpaid carers and with colleagues in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. We are committed to delivering an effective, high-quality service, however there may be occasions when something goes wrong, and people are not satisfied with the way we have worked or a service provided.
If a person is not satisfied with our service, they have the right to raise a concern or to make a formal complaint and we have produced this policy to make it as straightforward as possible. If something is not clear, or you have a question regarding this Policy, please contact the CEO.
This policy applies to complaints regarding a service provided by Carers in Hertfordshire. Other organisations will have their own complaints policies and procedures to follow.
A concern, or an informal complaint should be raised directly with the member of staff involved or with the manager of the team that offered the service in order to try and resolve the problem straight away.
Our Administration team can be contacted on 01992 58 69 69 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to provide the contact details of the employee or manager needed to address the concern. Alternatively, please contact one of the internal Safeguarding leads who will be able to ensure your informal complaint is directed to the correct person.
Carers in Hertfordshire aim to deal with any concern as quickly as possible; however, we will tell you if there is going to be a delay in responding and will endeavour to reply as quickly as possible.
If you remain dissatisfied with our response you can use the formal complaint procedure as outlined below.
If it is felt a complaint needs to be put on an official footing, the relevant information should be put in writing and sent by e-mail to Carers in Hertfordshire at email@example.com marking the subject as “FAO Chief Executive Officer – complaint”. The complaint can also be put in the post to:
Private and Confidential for the attention of the Chief Executive Officer
Carers in Hertfordshire
The Red House
119 Fore Street
If the complaint involves the Chief Executive Officer the complaint should be addressed to the Chair of Trustees. Carers in Hertfordshire will reply to acknowledge the complaint within five working days of receiving the letter or email and will carry out a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding it.
As part of the response, it will be confirmed who will be undertaking the investigation and responding. Carers in Hertfordshire aim to respond within 15 working days of the acknowledgement of the complaint. If there are any reasons that mean we may need a longer period to complete a thorough investigation, this will be explained and a timescale agreed with the complainant.
If a complaint is upheld, the complainant will receive a full written apology and, where appropriate, an explanation as to how Carers in Hertfordshire can retrieve the situation or at least put things right for the future.
Investigating the complaint
When either an informal or formal complaint is received the Chief Executive Officer or Chair of Trustees will ask the appropriate manager or trustee to investigate:
Complaints will be kept private and confidential however may need to be reviewed by senior managers or Trustees of Carers in Hertfordshire as part of the investigation process. Every effort will be made to safeguard a complainant’s privacy. However, if the complaint is specifically about an employee of Carers in Hertfordshire it will be necessary for that person to be informed of the complaint and to allow a full and through investigation to be completed.
A complaint will not become ‘public knowledge’ unless the complainant wishes it to.
Requesting a review of the Investigation
If the complainant is not satisfied with the response received, they can request a review of the investigation to be carried out under the direction of the Chair of Carers in Hertfordshire Board of Trustees.
This should be requested in writing within 15 working days of receiving the response letter or e-mail. The review should be requested directly to the Chair of Trustees at Carers in Hertfordshire at the address or e-mail address given above, marking the subject “Private and Confidential – FAO Chair of Trustees”
The Chair of Trustees will write to acknowledge the request to review the investigation within five working days of receiving the letter or email.
The Chair of Trustees and/or Trustees will review the original investigation to ensure the process has been carried out correctly and efficiently and the fundamental issues of the formal complaint have been investigated fully.
The Chair of Trustees will write to the complainant within 20 working days of the receipt of the request for a review providing a full response, which will contain sufficient information to show that the complaint has been fully investigated and an apology given where appropriate.
Please be assured this matter will be prioritised internally, however if there is any delay the reason for this will be explained and a revised timescale agreed.
Third party review of the complaint
The review under the direction of the Chair of Trustees is the final internal stage of the Carers in Hertfordshire Complaints Procedure. If the complainant remains dissatisfied with the investigation and review process, they need to contact Hertfordshire County Council. This is because Carers in Hertfordshire has contracts with the County Council for some of our services that are monitored by Adult Care Services and Children’s Services, depending upon the service. Funders, too, wish to ensure that the services provided by Carers in Hertfordshire are of a high quality and so will want to know when a complaint of this nature arise.
In this case, the complainant should write to the Carers Commissioning Manager at the below address, detailing the process so far and their expectations from a third-party review:
Commissioning Manager (Carers)
Integrated Community Support Team
Adult Care Services
Hertfordshire County Council
Six Hills Way
Stevenage, SG1 2FQ