Leaflet: How to make a complaint or give feedback about Adult Social Care and Health services
2021/22 edition (IL03)
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Tell us what you think
Our aim is to provide high quality Adult Social Care services. We are always pleased to hear about your views and experiences of our services, whether good or bad, as this can help us to learn and improve how we do things in the future.
Your feedback may include complimenting us when things have gone well, providing comments or suggestions for how we can do things better, or making a complaint when things have gone wrong.
How to contact the Complaints and Feedback team
East Sussex County Council
St Anne’s Crescent
Making a complaint
If you are unhappy with a service, please don’t be afraid to get in touch with us. A good start is to contact the person or team who has been involved with you, because often things can be put right quickly. If you have already done this or would rather speak with someone else, your concerns can be raised with the Complaints and Feedback Team.
Try not to leave it for more than a year from when you first knew about the problem, otherwise it can be difficult to find out what went wrong and we may not be able to help.
Don’t worry, making a complaint will not have a negative effect on any service you receive in the future and your information will be handled confidentially.
Listening, responding, improving
Councils with Adult Social Care responsibilities must respond to complaints by law. We want to, and will:
- listen to your experiences and take your concerns seriously
- work together with you in a mutually respectful way
- make enquiries into the matters you raise
- respond to your concerns in a fair and timely way, putting your needs at the centre of what we do
- improve our services by learning from your experiences
Who can make a complaint?
- Anyone who receives an Adult Social Care service under the Care Act 2014.
- Anyone who believes they have been unfairly refused a service.
- A friend, family member or representative of the person who receives a service, or believes they should receive a service. They may already have authority to act on your behalf if you are not able to make decisions for yourself. If you are able to make your own decisions, you will need to give permission for another person to raise a complaint on your behalf.
- An advocate can also help you – see our factsheet: Independent advocacy – someone to speak up for you.
What can you complain about?
You can complain about any part of our services, including assessments and reviews, quality of services and staff attitude.
We can advise you where issues do not fall under the complaints process, such as safeguarding concerns. We will always direct you to the right people to contact.
What happens when you make a complaint?
When you contact us with your concerns, we will:
- acknowledge your complaint within three working days
- ask you from the outset what you would like to happen to put things right
- agree with you how we plan to respond to your complaint
- arrange for a manager to make enquiries and provide you with a response, usually within 10 to 20 working days, although sometimes it may take longer
- oversee a response that will include a summary of findings and any service improvements
- coordinate the process by keeping you updated and being your point of contact
What happens if you are not satisfied with the complaint response?
If you are not happy with the response or the way we have handled your concerns, you will have the opportunity to tell us what else you feel might help to put things right, which we will consider.
If, after this, you remain dissatisfied then you can contact the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman who may investigate your complaint. Their contact details are:
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Coventry, CV4 0EH
Phone: 0300 061 0614
Website: Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
If your comment or complaint is about local health services
Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) provide confidential advice and support about any concerns you may have about the care provided by East Sussex Healthcare. This service is independent and acts on your behalf to sort out problems quickly. You can contact PALS at Conquest Hospital or Eastbourne District General Hospital.
St. Leonards-on-Sea TN37 7RD
Phone: 0300 131 5309
Eastbourne District General Hospital
Eastbourne, BN21 2UD
Phone: 0300 131 4784
If you would like to be involved in shaping our services, we are always looking for new members to join the People Bank. The People Bank is a database of volunteers who have an interest in our services. Membership is voluntary and there are many ways you can be involved.
Once you have joined and told us how you’d like to be involved, the People Bank team will be able to match you with opportunities when they are available. Contact us to find out more:
Email: Adult Social Care Consultation team
Phone: 01273 481 565
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