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Investigation of Complaints

Your complaint will be looked into by the relevant complaints officer for the service / service area and if your complaint is straightforward, the complaints officer will respond to you. However, in certain cases we may appoint an independent investigator.

The person who is investigating your complaint will firstly aim to establish the facts. The extent of the investigation will depend on the complexity of the issues you have raised. In some instances, we may ask to meet with you to discuss your complaint. Occasionally, we might suggest mediation or another method to try to resolve disputes. We’ll look at relevant evidence which could include files, notes of conversations, letters, emails or whatever may be relevant to your particular complaint. If necessary, we’ll talk to the staff or others involved and look at our policies, any legal entitlement and guidance.

The person looking at your complaint will usually need to see the files we hold relevant to your complaint. If you don’t want this to happen, it is important that you tell us. Where it is necessary to disclose your identity to another person in order to investigate the complaint then it is important that you tell us if you do not want this to happen. Depending on the nature of your complaint it may be necessary to obtain your permission to access your personal records. If permission is not provided then we will explain that this will have an effect on the ability to conduct a thorough investigation.

We will set out our understanding of your complaint and ask you to confirm that we are right. It would be helpful if you could tell us what outcome you’re hoping for.

If there is a simple solution to your problem, we may ask you if you’re happy to accept this. For example, where you asked for a service and we see straight away that you should have had it, we will offer to provide the service rather than investigate.

We will aim to resolve complaints as quickly as possible and expect to deal with the vast majority within 20 working days. If your complaint is more complex, we will:

  • Let you know within this time why we think it may take longer to
    investigate;
  • Tell you how long we expect it to take;
  • Let you know where we have reached with the investigation; and
  • Give you regular updates, including telling you whether any developments might change our original estimate.