Customer How To Complain Guide.

Scope

This guidance for customers explains how Age UK North Tyneside Group will  handle complaints about the services provide.

It describes how to make a complaint, what to expect when your complaint is investigated and what you can do if you remain dissatisfied with the result of a local investigation.

This guidance should be read in conjunction with our Customer Comments, Compliments and Complaints Policy & Procedure.

Authorised by

Dawn McNally

Group Chief Executive

Age UK North Tyneside Group strives to ensure equality of opportunity for all, both as an employer and a provider of services. This policy has therefore been equality impact assessed by the Head of Corporate SupportHR to ensure fairness and consistency for all those covered by it regardless of their individual differences

  1. Your right to complain about Age UK North Tyneside Group servicesEveryone has a right to expect good quality services from Age UK North Tyneside Group and for things to be put right if they go wrong.We have a robust “Comments, Compliments and Complaints” policy and as an organisation, we welcome feedback and look upon this as an opportunity to learn, adapt, improve and provide better services.  A copy of this policy is available from Customer Services at:
    The Bradbury Centre, 13 Saville Street West, North ShieldsTyne & Wear, NE29 6QP
    Telephone: 0191 280 8484
    Email: enquiries@ageuknorthtyneside.org.uk
  2. Finding out how to make a complaint

If you wish to make a complaint, you should inform a member of staff or volunteer without delay.

Alternatively, you can contact our Customer Services team on 0191 280 8484.

  1. Who can help you make a complaint?

Complaints do not have to be made by the person receiving services.

  1. Support to help you raise concerns or make a complaint

You can ask for help and guidance on how to make a complaint by contacting any of the organisations below:-

Local Independent Advocacy Service

Your local Independent Advocacy Service can be a great source of advice and support.  You can contact them direct on 0191 259 6662, or by email at info@iant.org.uk. You can also visit their website at www.iane.org.uk

Citizens Advice Bureau

Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can also be a great source of advice and support.  You can contact them direct on 0191 2704485 or 0844 4991198 or visit their website at www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Healthwatch

Local Healthwatch may also offer free independent information or advice about how to make a comment about local services.  You can contact your Local Healthwatch on 0191 2635321 or by email at info@healthwatchnorthtyneside.co.uk.  You can also visit their website at www.healthwatchnorthtyneside.co.uk

Different Formats and Languages

Text Relay – If you have problems with your hearing or speech, then you can you can also contact us via Text Relay.  Text Relay is a service run by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID).  It helps deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people make and receive calls to and from hearing people by.

To make a Text Relay Direct call with a textphonedial ‘18001’ before the full phone number and Text Relay Direct will connect a Text Relay Assistant into the call if needed.

To make a Text Relay Direct call with a standard phone dial ‘18002’ before the full national phone number.

Relay Assist – provides the same facilities as the standard 1800X access to Text Relay Direct but with a Text Relay Assistant setting up the call and assisting with the conversation. Please note there is a charge for this service.

To use Relay Assist dial:

Interpreters – North Tyneside Council can also put you in touch with an Interpreting Service who offera confidential and impartial service to help overcome the communication barrier between deaf people and hearing people. It is available to any resident of North Tyneside who requires support to communicate with a hearing or deaf person.  For more information contact 0191 643 2999 or email interpreters.BSL@northtyneside.gov.uk

Requesting a Language Interpreter – Newcastle Interpreting Service offer face to face interpreting or telephone interpreting on demand 24/7 365 days per year.  You can contact them on 0191 653 1002 or by email at nis@language-empire.com.

  1. Time limits for making a complaint

You should make a complaintas soon as possible.  Complaints should normally be made within 1 month of the date of the event that you are complaining about, or as soon as the matter first came to your attention.

The time limit can sometimes be extended (so long as it’s still possible to investigate the complaint). An extension might be possible, for instance in situations where it would have been difficult for you to complain earlier, for example, when you were grieving or undergoing trauma.

  1. Worries about complaining directly to Age UK North Tyneside

If your service is being provided by Age UK North Tyneside Group on behalf of North Tyneside Council, you can discuss your complaint with them by contacting:

Adult Social Care Contact Centre
North Tyneside Council
Quadrant
Silverlink North
Cobalt Business Park
North Tyneside
NE27 0BY

Telephone: 0191 643 2777 / Out of hours: 0191 200 6800

Or if your service is a care service you can contact:

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

The Care Quality Commission is a national organisation independent of Age UK North Tyneside Group and they can be contacted at:-

CQC National Customer Service Centre
Citygate
Gallowgate
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
NE1 4PA

Telephone: 03000 61 61 61

Email: enquiries.northeastern@cqc.org.uk

  1. What to consider before making a complaint

If you decide to make a complaint, it is important to consider what you want to happen.  Are you content with an apology, do you want action to be taken against a member of staff, or do you want a change to the system?  Whatever action you are seeking, make this clear.

  1. Expressing your concerns or making a complaint

Stage 1 : First try to resolve it informally

Not all issues have to end up with a formal complaint. Sometimes it is enough to give feedback or leave a comment. We welcome feedback as it will help improve the quality of our services.

If you raise concerns at the time or as soon as possible after an event, it is more likely that things can be put right quickly and satisfactorily.  Taking prompt action also prevents a situation from getting worse.

A staff member may be able to respond straight away or within days of an issue being drawn to their attention.  A prompt acceptable response – such as an apology from the person concerned, assurance that steps are being taken to prevent something happening again, agreeing a better way to meet your own or a relative’s needs or information from someone who is proving difficult to reach – could produce the outcome you want and prevent a situation escalating.

Before you make your complaint, make a note of the relevant events, dates, times, names and conversations, and include all necessary details.  Your notes will also help you to remember all the details in the future.

Whether you decide to complain orally or in writing, try to make your explanations as short and clear as possible.  Focus on the main issues, and leave out irrelevant details.  If you can, talk through what you want to say with someone else, or ask them to read what you’ve written before you send it.  If you complain in writing, keep a copy of everything you post, and make a note of when you sent it.

Stage 2 : Making a formal complaint

If you don’t feel like you can solve issues informally, you may want to raise a formal complaint.  This could be because you feel your concerns have not been adequately addressed by raising it informally; the seriousness of the issue warrants a wider investigation or the event you wish to complain about is in the past.

If this is the case, then you should writea letter or email us to make a formal complaint:-

Group Chief Executive
Age UK North Tyneside
Bradbury Centre
13 Saville Street West
North Shields
NE29 6QP

Telephone: 0191 280 8484

Email: enquiries@ageuknorthtyneside.org.uk

You should provide as much information as possible to allow us to investigate your complaint, such as :-

Don’t forget to keep copies of everything you post or email, and make a note of when you send it.

  1. What to expect when you make a complaint

Any complaint you make about Age UK North Tyneside Group services will be acknowledged within 48 hours to let you know:

  1. Acknowledging and pursuing your complaint

Age UK North Tyneside Group will observe the following basic rules when handling your complaint :-

  1. Investigating and responding to complaints

When your complaint is acknowledged, you will be offered the opportunity to discuss it and how it might be handled.  This can be a face to face meeting with the complaints manager or a phone call.  Here you can :-

If you do not want to have this initial discussion, the Head of Corporate Support will let you know in writing how your complaint is to be managed and the expected timescales for them to investigate and send their response.

The investigation to understand what happened and why will be proportionate, thorough and completed as quickly as possible.  One option may be a face-to-face meeting between you and the staff concerned, involving a mediator if necessary.

At the end of the investigation, you will receive a written response, by email if you prefer, that includes :-

  1. What happens if I am not happy with the outcome of my complaint?

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint you can refer the matter to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Chair of the Board of Trustees
Bradbury Centre
13 Saville Street West
North Shields
NE29 6QP

Tel: 0191 280 8484

  1. Monitoring and reporting on complaints handling

Age UK North Tyneside Group keeps a record of:-

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