0330 124 4399

info@elmarsh.co.uk

Complains Procedure

Complaints Procedure

El Marsh Care Ltd. Complaints Procedure

  • To ensure that El Marsh Care Ltd – has an effective system in place to manage complaints, suggestions and compliments.
  • To ensure that El Marsh Care Ltd – complies with any legal requirements, regulations, guidelines and best practice.
  • To support El Marsh Care Ltd – in meeting the following Key Lines of Enquiry:

Key Question

Key Lines of Enquiry

CARING C2: How does the service support people to express their views and be actively involved in making decisions about their care, support and treatment as far as possible?
RESPONSIVE R2: How are people’s concerns and complaints listened and responded to and used to improve the quality of care?
SAFE S1: How do systems, processes and practices keep people safe and safeguarded from abuse?

To meet the legal requirements of the regulated activities that El Marsh Care Ltd – is registered to provide:

  • Compensations Act 2006
  • The Care Act 2014
  • The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014
  • Human Rights Act 1998
  • The Local Authority Social Services and National
  • Health Service Complaints (England) Regulations 2009
  • Mental Capacity Act 2005
  • Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice
  • Data Protection Act 2018

The following roles may be affected by this policy:

  • All staff

The following stakeholders may be affected by this policy:

  • Family
  • Advocates
  • Representatives
  • Commissioners
  • External health professionals
  • Local Authority
  • NHS

To ensure that all complaints and suggestions are promptly addressed, resolved and shared within the agreed timescales to ensure that lessons are learned and that the learning improves service quality and delivery.

  • El Marsh Care Ltd – understands complaints to be an expression of dissatisfaction requiring a response, communicated verbally, electronically, or in writing. Complaints may be made by any Service Users, their family or advocate acting on their behalf, with their consent or in their best interests
  • El Marsh Care Ltd – takes complaints seriously. We will aim to put things right that have gone wrong and learn lessons to avoid the problem happening again. This policy sets out the framework for how El Marsh Care Ltd – will achieve this. The detail of how El Marsh Care Ltd – will do this will be found in the associated procedures
  • El Marsh Care Ltd – will comply with legislation, national guidelines, regulation and best practice when managing complaints and suggestions. A systematic approach will be taken with all aspects of complaints and suggestions
  • Complaints or concerns by staff will be addressed via the Grievance process if the complaint or concerns relates to them individually or Whistleblowing procedure where a protected disclosure is made
  • El Marsh Care Ltd – understands our statutory obligations in respect of the Duty of Candour and will ensure we follow agreed policy and procedure

El Marsh Care Ltd – will ensure that the complaints and compliments process at El Marsh Care Ltd – is fair and transparent and does not discriminate directly or indirectly because of the following:

  • Age
  • Being or becoming a transsexual/transgender person
  • Being married or in a civil partnership
  • Being pregnant or on maternity leave
  • Disability
  • Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
  • Religion, belief or lack of religion/belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

The complainant will feel free to complain without fear of reprisals and will be treated with courtesy, respect and compassion. El Marsh Care Ltd – will ensure that the process of how to make a complaint and the feedback is provided in a way that meets the Accessible Information Standards and is in a format that the Service User can understand.

El Marsh Care Ltd – will seek out opportunities to obtain feedback from Service Users and stakeholders. El Marsh Care Ltd – will act with sensitivity, integrity and professionalism by treating individuals who do complain or raise a suggestion with compassion, courtesy and respect. The service will protect the Service User’s right to confidentiality. El Marsh Care Ltd – will ensure that alternative methods of communication are available so that the complaints and suggestions procedures are accessible for Service Users who experience difficulties with communication or whose first language is not English.
Staff will undertake training on how to manage complaints in line with their role and responsibilities.

El Marsh Care Ltd – understands that it can be difficult to separate a complaint from a concern, therefore, El Marsh Care Ltd – will follow this policy when any dissatisfaction arises with the service.

A full record will be held of all complaints received regardless of the level of seriousness and means of communication. This approach allows an open and transparent culture around raising concerns in the earliest stage to allow resolution. A record of the complaint will also be held in the Service User’s care file and reported in line with contractual or regulatory requirements.

Where a complaint or concern is raised that relates to a Service User being harmed or likely to be harmed, El Marsh Care Ltd – will follow its Safeguarding Policy and Procedures in addition to the complaints procedures, seeking advice and guidance from the Sandwell Council Safeguarding Adults team and escalating concerns in line with Sandwell Council procedure. El Marsh Care Ltd – will also notify CQC in line with our statutory duty.

All Staff

It is acknowledged that all staff working within El Marsh Care Ltd – could be presented with an individual wishing to raise a concern or complaint at any time, therefore staff need to be able to manage this in a sensitive, structured and timely manner. In order to do this staff should:

  • Be trained on induction and as a routine measure to ensure knowledge is embedded and refreshed around the complaints procedure
  • Have access to the complaints procedure
  • Be provided with the opportunity to reflect and learn from complaints as a means of developing and driving quality care
  • Appreciate that any feedback from Service Users or their representatives that is of concern needs immediate resolution, where possible, to their satisfaction. Care Plans will be updated to reflect the planned changes to care and the Registered Manager informed of the feedback. Failing to do this could result in a complaint
  • Be clearly advised that on presentation of a complaint, swift escalation to management is necessary and purposefully withholding or concealing of concerns expressed by Service Users or their representatives could lead to disciplinary action

El Marsh Care Ltd – Management Team

  • The management team at El Marsh Care Ltd – is responsible for ensuring compliance with this policy, regulations, improvement planning and having arrangements in place to provide relevant reports and information regarding complaints
  • The Registered Manager is the main point of contact for the receipt, investigation and management of complaints within El Marsh Care Ltd.. However, this may be delegated to a senior member of staff within El Marsh Care Ltd – who holds the experience, knowledge and competence to investigate and manage complaints
  • El Marsh Care Ltd – will ensure the procedure for raising a complaint is accessible and displayed prominently in El Marsh Care Ltd – on El Marsh Care Ltd’s – website and within the Service User information and guides. Alternative languages and formats should be available on request

El Marsh Care Ltd – welcomes compliments and suggestions and recognises their importance in celebrating and recognising the success of our service and opportunities for improvement. We will engage with a wide range of stakeholders in addition to Service Users to support service development and improvement. We will share feedback with our staff.

El Marsh Care Ltd – will follow the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman best practice and where Service User are receiving services for more than one organisation, we will ensure they can make a complaint to anyone and be provided with a single response following a joint investigation.

A complaint can be received by El Marsh Care Ltd – either verbally or in writing and can be made by:

  • Service Users
  • Someone acting on behalf of a Service User and with their written consent, e.g. an advocate, relative, Member of Parliament
  • Someone acting on behalf of a Service User who is unable to represent his or her own interests, provided this does not conflict with the Service User’s right to confidentiality or a previously expressed wish of the Service User

El Marsh Care Ltd – should ensure that Service Users are given information on how to make a complaint and the process once a complaint has been made, including any agreed timescales.

Complaints should be submitted within 12 months of the incident or concern arising. The time limit, however, can and should be waived, if:

  • It is still practical and possible to investigate the complaint (the records still exist and the individuals concerned are still available to be questioned, etc.) and
  • The complainant can demonstrate reasonable cause for delay in making the complaint It is at the discretion of the manager of the service if the time limit can be set aside.

Step 1
When a complaint is raised to staff, staff will make an effort to resolve it immediately to the satisfaction of the complainant.

Step 2
Staff will apologise for the fact that there was the need to complain in the first instance and explain the complaints process as described in the procedure steps.

Step 3
Staff will report the complaint to the most senior member of staff on duty and the complaint will be logged.

Step 4
Formal acknowledgement of all complaints received (whether verbal or written) will be sent within 3 working days to the complainant. This could be via letter or email. El Marsh Care Ltd – will have a local system in place to manage out-of-hours and weekend complaints received.

The acknowledgement will include:

  • An invitation to meet and discuss the complaint
  • Who will be investigating the complaint
  • How the investigation will be handled – the response should state what the investigation will be focussed on
  • A time limit for the investigation to be concluded. This should be 28 days, however, some cases may take longer and the complainant will be made aware of this
  • The complaints procedure and contact details of bodies that can be accessed in the event of dissatisfaction with the outcome of the investigation

Step 5

Following a full investigation, a response letter will be sent and this will include the following:

  • A summary of the issue from the complainant’s point of view
  • Details of the evidence and sources consulted in order to investigate the issue fully and fairly
  • A presentation of the findings for each issue clearly and concisely described
  • A conclusion, stating clearly whether the issue is “upheld”, “partially upheld” or “not upheld”; unless it is ineligible, in which case the reason for this will be given, e.g. out of time or out of jurisdiction
  • An explanation of the outcome and whether any remedial action or learning points arise from the investigation of that issue
  • An apology where the issue is upheld and shortcomings or failings have been found
  • The complainant’s rights if not satisfied with the outcome to refer to The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
  • A signature from the responsible individual or sent by email in their name

Step 6

The complaint will be closed once confirmation has been received that there is satisfaction with the outcome. In the event of dissatisfaction, El Marsh Care Ltd – will support the complainant to access further support (refer to section 5.6)

A record will be held of all complaints raised and contain the following information:

  • Each complaint received
  • Subject matter and outcome
  • Details of any reason for delay where investigations took longer than the agreed response period
  • The date the report of outcome was sent to the complainant

Where complaints relate to a Service User, a copy of the complaint will be held in their care records so that the Service User can reflect on the recommendations.

Where complaints are raised by telephone, the log will include date and time of the call and this should be followed up with written confirmation of the areas discussed.

Where a complaint indicates the potential abuse of Service Users, safeguarding policies will be followed as per local authority expectation and necessary notifications made to the regulatory body. Where care is commissioned by Sandwell Council their reporting procedure for notifying them of complaints should be followed.

Where complaints are to be shared as part of learning, the complaint should be anonymised so there is no identifiable Service User information.

All investigations will be managed by using the following approach:

  • Investigating the fact
  • Assessing evidence
  • Review of records
  • Interviewing those involved

Where necessary, advice and support will be sourced via senior managers within the organisation. The complaint should be investigated by a member of staff with the knowledge, experience and seniority to undertake the investigation robustly.
Confidentiality of information will be considered at all times and staff will adhere to the confidentiality policies and relevant codes of practice.
If an investigation of a complaint results in disciplinary action of staff within El Marsh Care Ltd -, the complaint will continue to its conclusion. The complainant will be informed that the investigation has led to disciplinary process, but the details of the outcome or ongoing investigation should remain confidential.

There are many bodies that can support or will need to be informed of unresolved complaints:

  • The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (for those Service Users that are funded by local authority-funded social services care or self-funded)

Individuals have the right to raise their complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman. This is a free service and individuals can contact their Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman via: The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Coventry CV4 0EH Tel: 0300 061 0614
Email: advice@lgo.org.uk Website: https://www.lgo.org.uk/
Complaint form: https://www.lgo.org.uk/complaint-form
Individuals should be advised that the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman will not investigate the complaint until the provider has had the opportunity to respond and resolve the matter in the first instance.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (For Service User that are NHS funded) Individuals have the right to raise a concern about a service that is NHS funded. This is a free service and individuals can contact via:
Telephone 0345 0154033
Email phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk
Website www.ombudsman.org.uk
Address Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4QP.

Care Managers can also signpost individuals to Healthwatch and the local independent complaints advocacy services (ICAS). Care Quality Commission.

El Marsh Care Ltd – is registered with and regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The CQC cannot get involved in individual complaints about providers but is happy to receive information about services at any time. Individuals can contact the CQC at:
Website www.cqc.org.uk
Email enquiries@cqc.org.uk
Address Care Quality Commission (CQC) National Correspondence
Citygate, Gallowgate Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4PA Tel: 03000 616161
Fax: 03000 616171

Individuals can make a complaint about a health service they are receiving or have received and can discuss this with the commissioner of the service. Local contact details can be located via: http://www.england.nhs.uk/ccg-details/#ccg-e

Individuals have the right to raise concerns and complaints about adult social care regardless of whether or not they pay for their own care or if the Council funds it. Individuals can make a complaint about organisations who provide services on the Council’s behalf. The contact details for the Local Authority Complaints Team are:

  • Local Authority Complaints Team

If a complaint involves the serious misconduct of a healthcare professional, their relevant professional body can be informed and this is determined on an individual case basis in discussion with the Registered Manager.
For any external bodies managing complaints El Marsh Care Ltd – will work with the external body providing information as requested within any agreed timescales expected.

Receiving compliments is an opportunity to celebrate and recognise success. El Marsh Care Ltd – will ensure that:

  • All compliments are shared with staff and displayed in public area to highlight good practice
  • Compliments are anonymised or permission sought before displaying
  • Numbers of compliments received are logged as part of a quality assurance programme
  • Verbal positive feedback from residents and relatives is also deemed as compliments and should be recorded and shared with colleagues
  • Compliments form a core agenda item at staff, resident and relative meetings
  • Suggestions can be made verbally or in writing and generally are in response to seeking a means of changing practice for the better.
  • Suggestions are not complaints, but in some circumstances, if they are not considered or actioned they could lead to a complaint
  • When suggestions are raised in meeting or as part of a conversation, these should be documented and then outcomes of such suggestion recorded to show consideration
  • Staff should be encouraged to share their suggestions or suggestions received by relatives and Service Users to the The Home manager
  • The Registered Manager’s at El Marsh Care Ltd – should consider implementing a suggestions system to encourage comments from Service Users, staff, and visitors

El Marsh Care Ltd – will monitor, review and analyse all information received about the service as a means of continuously reviewing performance, quality and safety.
El Marsh Care Ltd – will also:

  • Share themes and trends with Care Workers working for El Marsh Care Ltd.
  • Ensure that staff are trained to deal with complaints and understand the procedure for managing complaints

Anonymous complaints should be investigated in the same way as named complaints. They should be logged and any corrective action necessary should be taken and also logged.

Where more than one organisation is involved in the Service User’s care they, or their representative, should be able to complain to any of them and El Marsh Care Ltd – will contact the other organisations, carry out a joint investigation and provide a single joint response. Service Users should not have to contact each organisation separately.
If someone complains and El Marsh Care Ltd – is not responsible for the care or service complained about, rather than turning them away, El Marsh Care Ltd – should share the concerns with the correct organisation(s). You will need the individual’s permission to do this. If the person prefers that their complaint is not shared with another organisation (or organisations), El Marsh Care Ltd – should signpost them to the right organisation instead and provide the person with their contact details. El Marsh Care Ltd – will follow LGO guidance for managing this.

All efforts will be made by Miss Chelsey Neal to resolve all complaints within El Marsh Care Ltd. If a Service User does not wish to raise a complaint directly to management within El Marsh Care Ltd – in the first instance, staff should try and sensitively establish their reasons why and aim to resolve and address any concerns that present.
Decisions to raise complaints outside of El Marsh Care Ltd – will be fully respected and the Service User should be supported to raise their complaint to the commissioner of the service or to seek the support of an independent advocate or representative. Staff should also refer to section 5.6 for a further list of organisations that can be accessed.
Service Users can also be signposted to the Citizens advice guidance.

Introduction

We always aim to provide a high standard of care in all our services.
Our Service Users’ views are important to us and help to ensure our services are consistently meeting people’s needs. If you are unhappy with any of our services, it is important that you let us know.
If a complaint alerts us to possible abuse or neglect, we will tell the Council’s Adult Safeguarding Team. The Safeguarding Team will decide how to investigate and monitor outcomes.

Often people feel more comfortable suggesting improvements than complaining formally. Suggestions can be made by anyone receiving services, or their friends/family. To make a suggestion you can:

  • Speak to the Manager or their Deputy
  • Utilise available comments or suggestion boxes if you would rather make your suggestion that way

If the suggestion is something that El Marsh Care Ltd – as a company needs to consider you can send it to:

Registered Manager
El Marsh Care Ltd
21-22 Pure Offices
Broadwell Road
Oldbury B694BY
E: info@elmarsh.co.uk
T: 03301244399

We aim to handle complaints quickly, effectively and in a fair and honest way. We take all complaints seriously and use valuable information from investigating to help us improve the service we provide. We treat all complaints in confidence.
El Marsh Care Ltd – Barnford View assures Service Users and their families that it will not withdraw or reduce services because someone makes a complaint in good faith.

Anyone affected by the way El Marsh Care Ltd – Barnford View provides services can make a complaint. A representative can make a complaint for the affected person if they:

  • Have died
  • Cannot make a complaint themselves, or
  • Have given consent for the representative to act on their behalf

If you are not happy about making a complaint yourself and you do not know someone who can talk or write to us on your behalf, we will be happy to find someone from an independent organisation to act as an advocate of you.

You can complain:

  • In person
  • By telephone
  • Through a member of our staff
  • Through an advocate or representative

Where someone complains verbally we will make a written record and provide a copy of it within 3 working days:

  • By letter
  • By email

We deal with anonymous complaints under the same procedure. However, it should be noted, if you provide contact details, we can update you on the outcome of our investigation.

The Registered Manager has overall responsibility for dealing with all complaints made about their service. We will provide as far as is reasonably practical:

  • Any help you need to understand the complaints procedure
  • Advice on where you may get that help
  • Information about making a complaint in a way you can understand

The Registered Manager or El Marsh Care Ltd – Barnford View may ask one of the management team to investigate the complaint. That person will have enough seniority and experience to deal with the issues raised by the complaint.

We will formally acknowledge a complaint within 3 working days and give you the name and contact details of the person investigating it.
We will keep you informed about the progress of the investigation. We aim to have all complaints finished within 28 working days unless we agree a different time scale with you.
When we have finished investigating, we will arrange to meet with you to discuss the outcome, and write to you with:

  • Details of the findings
  • Any action we have taken
  • Our proposals to resolve your complaint

You should complain as soon as you can after the date on which the event occurred or came to your notice. If you complain more than twelve months later, we may not be able to investigate properly. However, we will consider whether you had a good reason for not making the complaint sooner and whether, despite the delay, it is still possible to investigate the complaint effectively and fairly.

At any stage during the process, if you are not happy with the way the service is dealing with your complain you can contact the HR at:

El Marsh Care Ltd
23 Pure Offices
Broadwell Road
Oldbury B694BY
E: HR@elmarsh.co.uk
T: 03301244399

You can also contact your Local Authority Complaints Team to complain. You can contact the Local Authority Complaints Team at:
Local Authority Complaints Team

Once we have dealt with your complaint, if you are not happy with the outcome you can refer your complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and ask for it to be reviewed. The Local Government an Social Care Ombudsman provides a free independent service.
You can contact them at:
The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman PO Box 4771
Coventry CV4 0EH Tel: 0300 061 0614
Email: advice@lgo.org.uk Website: https://www.lgo.org.uk/
Complaint form: https://www.lgo.org.uk/complaint-form
NB: The Ombudsman will not normally investigate a complaint until the provider has had an opportunity to respond and resolve matters.

El Marsh Care Ltd – services are registered with and regulated by the Care Quality Commission. The CQC cannot get involved in individual complaints about providers but is happy to receive information about services at any time.
You can contact the CQC at:
Care Quality Commission National Correspondence Care Quality Commission (CQC)
National Correspondence Citygate, Gallowgate
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4PA Tel: 03000 616161
Fax: 03000 616171
Website: www.cqc.org.uk

Available upon request, please contact head office for further information.