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Explain the importance of an accessible complaints procedure for reducing the likelihood of abuse


This page is designed to answer the following questions:

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Having a clear and accessible complaints procedure is an important factor that can contribute to 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.

As well as raising an individual’s awareness of their rights, it also increases the individual’s confidence to challenge how their care is provided as well as giving others confidence in the system. And, of course, it alerts management and other agencies that there is a potential for abuse so that they can take action to prevent it.


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. Individuals should also be able to view the complaints procedure easily – for example, it could be published on the organisation’s website or available in the reception area.


Care staff should keep individuals informed of their right to complain regularly. If an individual is unhappy with any aspect of their care and support, you should attempt 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, an advocate or a family member. 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 further harm can be caused.

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