This page is designed to answer the following questions:
- 10.2f Explain how a clear complaints procedure reduces the likelihood of abuse (Care Certificate, Standard 10: Safeguarding adults)
- 5.2 Explain the importance of an accessible complaints procedure for reducing the likelihood of abuse (Level 2 Diploma in Care, Safeguarding and protection in care settings)
Having a clear and accessible complaints procedure is an important factor that can contribute towards reducing the likelihood of abuse.
This is because it assures the individuals receiving care and others that have contact with care services that they can challenge poor standards of care without fear of reprisal. If individuals understand their rights and know that they can complain if they feel something is not right, it makes them less vulnerable to abuse because care staff are more likely to work to higher standards and any bad practices can be dealt with swiftly.
Your organisation should have a clear and concise complaints policy and procedure. You will need to familiarise yourself with it so that you know what to do if somebody tells you that they want to make a complaint.
The complaints procedure must be accessible, which may mean ensuring that it is available in different user-friendly formats, such as easy-read or large print. One-off adaptations may be needed to make it accessible to a particular individual’s needs.
If an individual is unhappy with any aspect of their and support, you should try to resolve the issues for them. If they are still unhappy, you should make them aware of their right to complain, should they wish to do so.
When an individual wants to make a complaint, you should always take it seriously and outline what the process is to them. you should also explain that it will be dealt with by an independent party (for example, if the complaint is against your manager, it would not be your manager that deals with it). You should always make them aware of their right to get help and support to make their complaint. This could be from yourself or an independent party, such as an advocate. You should also offer to help them arrange an advocate if they want one.
The complaints procedure should detail how the complaints will be handled and what timescales will be used as well as the complainants right to appeal if they do not agree with the result.
Having a clear complaints policy and procedure, coupled with an open, honest and transparent workplace culture, means that individuals are empowered and encouraged to voice their concerns, which results in poor and unsafe practices being resolved swiftly before any harm can be caused.