More information about making a complaint
You have the right to be treated fairly, with respect and dignity, whatever your ethnic group, sexuality, disability, age, culture, sex, religion or belief when you contact us about your views.
Our staff have a responsibility to help people who use our services, and their carers, to tell us how they feel about the service they get.
What can I complain about?
You may want to complain about any of the following.
- If we don’t offer you a service that meets your needs.
- If we decide that you can’t use one of our services.
- If we take too long to do our job or provide a service.
- If our staff do not behave in the way that you expect, for example if they are rude or you think you have been treated unfairly.
- If you do not agree with a decision we have made.
- If you think we have not involved you enough.
What should I do if I want to make a complaint?
You may want to talk about your concerns informally with the staff or manager of the service you are complaining about. We encourage you to do this, as you may be able to sort out the problem at this stage. If you find you cannot sort out the problem within 48 hours (2 days) of making the complaint, you can then contact us direct.
If you want to make your complaint directly to us, you can
- fill in the form at the back of our leaflet (including the easy read leaflet)
- use the online complaints form
- phone us on 0121 303 5161 (choose option one).
If you use the form in the leaflet, you do not need a stamp.
You can choose Mediation as a way of resolving your complaint at any point in the process.
In mediation, you and the manager of the service meet to talk about the issues in your complaint and agree how to deal with them. This can help to resolve the complaint quickly. The aim of the mediation meeting is:
- to allow you and the manager to talk openly about the issues you have raised
- to agree what actions will help to deal with these issues
- to agree a date when these actions will happen by.
We will also be in the meeting, to make sure the mediation process is fair and to write the minutes.
We send you and the manager draft copies of the minutes within 5 working days of the meeting, and ask you to comment on them or agree them within another 5 days. Where possible, we ask the manager to undertake the agreed actions within 4 weeks of the meeting.
If you feel that mediation has not dealt with your concerns, you have the choice to continue with Stage 1 or 2 of the complaints process.
Stage 1 Making your complaint to us
We will speak to you about the best way for you to deal with your complaint, and agree the next steps with you. We might suggest that you speak to staff from the service you are complaining about, or arrange a meeting with you, a senior member of staff and a member of staff from the Customer Care and Citizen Involvement Team.
We will do our best to sort out your complaint, but if you are still not happy at the end of this stage, you can refer your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.
Stage 2 Local Government Ombudsman
The Local Government Ombudsman is an independent service that investigates complaints about councils.
You can ask them for advice at any time, but they will usually pass the complaint back to us if you have not gone through our complaints procedure first. They will look at your complaint and decide whether to investigate.
For complaints about adult social care services, contact the Local Government Ombudsman as follows.
The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Phone: 0300 061 0614
Fax: 024 7682 0001
Or, you can text ‘call back’ to 0762 480 4323.
We can provide you with an interpreter if your first language is not English. We do not charge you for this.
If you need an independent advocate (representative), the Customer Care and Citizen Involvement Team can arrange for one free of charge to help you speak up and promote your rights and interests.
You may want to speak to other organisations for advice and support about making a complaint. You can phone the Birmingham Carers’ Centre on 0121 675 8000 or get in touch with Citizens Advice at www.citizensadvice.org.uk.
Nursing homes, residential care homes, private clinics, hospitals and mental-health nursing homes, domiciliary care and nursing agencies are registered by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). If we get a complaint about any of these services, we are responsible for working with the CQC to deal with the complaint.
The Care Quality Commission
Care Quality Commission West Midlands
Newcastle upon Tyne
Phone: 03000 61 61 61
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