Learn, Do Not Copy!

Learners understand why those who use services may be reluctant to raise concerns or complaints

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: Although this page has been marked as complete, it has not yet been peer-reviewed or quality-assured, therefore it should be considered a ‘first draft’ and any information should be fact-checked independently.

All service user’s and their families have a right to make a complaint if they have issues with their care and support provision. As managers, this helps us to identify areas of poor practice within our organisation so that we can make improvements as well as ensuring we work in a person-centred way and achieve positive outcomes. Therefore, we should promote the use of the complaints policy and procedure and ensure that service users and their families understand the process and that it is inaccessible to them.

To ensure that service users and their families feel comfortable with the complaints process, it is important that you understand the reasons why people may be reluctant to make a complaint.

Service users may feel that there will be reprisals if they make a complaint or raise a concern, which could lead to them being treated differently or result in their care becoming worse. They may feel that they will upset their staff or be seen as a troublemaker. Or they may believe that their concern will not be taken seriously or would not make a difference. In addition, individuals, particularly those with limited mental capacity, may not fully understand that they have grounds to make a complaint and may need others to advocate on their behalf.

Therefore, you must instil a culture of trust within your organisation and reassure individuals that all complaints will be dealt with fairly and confidentially and that action will be taken if needed. You should encourage service users and their families to share their views and may wish to guarantee anonymity so that they feel protected from reprisals.

In 2013, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) commissioned the report ‘Fear of Raising Concerns about Care‘, which (although dated) has a lot of information about why people may be reluctant to make a complaint about their care provision and what can be done to overcome these barriers.