Complaints, Suggestions
and Compliments Policy


  • Springwood Healthcare Services operates an effective system for the receipt, recording, investigation and resolution of all complaints in order to comply with the regulations specified.
  • The arrangements for the investigation of complaints are fair and transparent.
  • Complaints and suggestions from service users and/or their relatives are a valued source of information regarding the quality of our service, being a primary source of information regarding possible abuse.

Policy Statement

Springwood Healthcare Services ensures the health, safety and welfare of service users and others by adhering to the strict guidelines at all times.

There are suitable arrangements in place for identifying, receiving, handling and responding appropriately to complaints and comments made by service users, or persons acting on their behalf, in relation to the carrying on of the regulated activity.

The organisation complies fully with Regulation 19 “Complaints” Health and Social Care act 2008 Registration Regulation 2009.

All staff are provided with regular training, which includes sessions on complaints or comments received from people who use services.

All new staff are instructed on policies on complaints or comments about the care and treatment involving people who use services as part of their induction process.

All staff training is reviewed annually or if there is a change in regulation or requirements. Training is conducted at least annually and all relevant staff will attend.

These polices are reviewed at least annually or if there is a change in regulation or requirement.


  • In all cases complaints and concerns shall be treated seriously in a sensitive and confidential manner
  • Complaints and suggestions must be handled in such a way as to first of all reach a satisfactory outcome with the complainant, and in turn a potentially difficult and damaging problem into a source of quality improvement
  • A copy of this complaint’s procedure will be given to service users and their representatives at the beginning of the service, and copies will also be made available throughout the service.
  • All informal or serious complaints will be investigated by the person not related to the immediate source of the complaint
  • The recording of complaints will not be confined to “serious” or “substantial” complaints. The existence of records for complaints of an apparently minor nature is an indication of the effectiveness of the procedure, the openness culture of Springwood Healthcare Services and its employees, and their vigilance in the area of abuse
  • Complaints will be recorded on a service user’s file in order to identify any patterns of complaints relating to an individual, including care or service provision in order to update and review the care planning process.
  • Complaints will be recorded centrally in both paper format and electronically in order to identify any pattern of complaints relating to all or a group of serve users. This record will contain minor Complaints, Suggestions and Compliments Policy and Procedure complaints in addition to serious complaints, and will be accessible to all members of staff where appropriate.
  • Compliments will be recorded centrally and made available for all parties to read; also, being placed on the employee’s personnel file.
  • The central information with regards to complaints and suggestions will be regularly reviewed and analyzed. The summary will be regularly monitored by Senior Management for quality assurance purposes.
  • Employees who are the subject of a complaint should not communicate directly with the complainant unless accompanied by a senior member of staff, requested directly to do so by the complainant, with agreement by the Registered Manager and Operations Manager.
  • Where the complaint gives rise to concerns regarding the wellbeing of one or more service users, serious consideration must be given to suspension of the person or persons complained about, an investigation must be initiated immediately in order to identify any risk to the health and welfare of the service users involved.


  • There are several distinct levels of dealing with a complaint, and it is important for the speedy and effect solution that each level is followed in accordance with Springwood Healthcare Services and the specified regulations.
  • Complaints also include matters relating to other service users, and people external to the service, which cause concern to the service user.
  • A complaint can be made in person, by telephone, in writing or by email.
  • Anonymous complaints will be dealt with under the same procedure to that of any other complaint received in person, verbally, in writing or via email.
  • Complaints and suggestions will be recorded on a complaints summary form and entered on the journal of Springwood Healthcare Services’ rostering system.
  • The complaints process will only be regarded as “completed” when the complainant or their representative has indicated, in writing if possible, that they are satisfied with the outcome of the complaint procedure. This is to be chased within 5 working days of the outcome letter being issued.
  • Complaints and suggestions will in all cases be taken seriously, recorded, their practicality/usefulness investigated, and the instigator informed of the decided outcome.
  • All complaints and suggestions will be acknowledged in writing within 48 working hours.
  • An acknowledgement letter will be issued with the name and contact details of the individual responsible for the investigation process.
  • Complainants will be replied to within 28 working days of the complaint arising.
  • The response should substantiate or not substantiate all points made and give a detailed response with all actions to be taken to resolve issues that have been raised.
  • Springwood Healthcare Services reserves the right to accept and investigate all complaints received within 12 months of the event occurring. This time limit will not apply if satisfied that the complainant provides good reason for not making the complaint within the specified time limit, and despite the delay it is still possible to investigate the complaint fairly and effectively.
  • Each complaint will be investigated by a delegated responsible individual of seniority.
  • Investigations and outcomes will be recorded on the complaint’s summary form, adding additional supporting documentation as required.
  • Individual’s making a complaint in person or via telephone will be advised that a written record of the complaint will be made.
  • The complainant will be kept informed about the progress of the investigation.
  • The Registered Manager will become aware of the matters dealt with by the person responsible for investigating a complaint by regular reviews and updates of each case. The Registered Manager will take corrective action if it is felt during this review that complaints are not being appropriately referred up the line of management.
  • Any attempt to conceal a complaint may give rise to disciplinary action.

Complaints, Suggestions and Compliments Policy and Procedure

  • In the event of a continued disagreement which cannot be resolved internally, the complainant will be advised to approach an appropriate external authority, such as CQC, funding authorities such as Social Services, an independent advocacy service, or the local government ombudsman.
  • For privately funded service users a range of advocacy services are available. The registered Manager should support the service user to contact the appropriate independent advocate if the service user shows any signs of being unable to fully make, or further pursue, the complaint.
  • Service users and their representatives can refer to the public notice board for details on local advocacy services.
  • The completed complaints summary form will be issued to the Registered Manager for final verification and signing, held centrally and on the service user file.
  • All complaint investigations will aim to be concluded within six months, unless a specific deadline has been agreed directly with the complainant, with good reason
  • The Registered Manager is to hold Management Meetings (primarily every 3 months) that will periodically review all complaints since the previous review in order to identify trends and matters which may have appeared to be relatively minor at the time, but which indicate a deeper problem with collated data being issued to the Operations Team.
  • The services action plan should be updated to include all action to be taken to resolve any requirements or recommendation made following any investigation.

This procedure can be made available in other languages and other formats on request.

Care Quality Commission

Care Quality Commission National Correspondence Citygate, Gallowgate

Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4PA

Tel: 03000 616161

Fax: 03000 616171

The Local Government Ombudsman


Social Services


Complaints, Suggestions and Compliments Policy and Procedure

Independent Advocacy services: Independent advocacy services Age UK Barnet

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