Concerns, Compliments And Complaints Policy & Procedure


Appleford Ltd aims to provide a high quality service in partnership with our Service Users, relatives and others and to actively seek their opinion regarding the quality of services provided. It is Daneswood’s policy to welcome complaints and look upon them as an opportunity to improve its services.

It is our aim to ensure that our complaints procedure is properly and effectively implemented, and that service users, their families or other agencies feel confident that their complaints are listened to and acted upon promptly and fairly.

This policy is intended to ensure that complaints are dealt with properly and that all complaints or comments by service users and their relatives and carers are taken seriously.

The organisation supports the concept that most complaints, if dealt with early, openly and honestly, can be resolved between the complainant and the organisation. If this fails due to either the organisation or the complainant being dissatisfied with the result the complaint will be referred to the Care Quality Commission and advice will be taken as necessary.

General Principles

Concerns or Complaints

A concern or complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction from a Service User their representative or any other person visiting the service.

The Complaints Procedure is designed to:

  • Be easily accessible
  • Be simple to understand and use
  • Allow quick handling of complaints within requires time limits
  • Ensure all involved are kept informed
  • Ensure a full and fair investigation
  • Address all points at issue and provide an effective response
  • Provide information to manager and staff so that services can be improved

Monitoring of Compliments and Complaints

The regular monitoring of compliments and complaints is part of the organisation’s quality assurance programme.

Complaints will be monitored by the Senior Management Team in order to:

  • Monitor the effectiveness of the compliments, concerns and complaints procedure
  • Consider trends and any remedial action required.
  • Consider any lessons which could be learnt to enhance the development of services and essentially, service improvement


A compliment is an expression of satisfaction by a resident, relative or anyone accessing our services. It is an expression of gratitude or appreciation to staff for the quality of services provided.

In order to recognise the level of appreciation, a record of all forms of compliment will be retained in the residential home. This will include letters or cards, gifts and donations. This record will be available for inspection.

Comments and Suggestions

In addition, the intention is to promote feedback from residents and anyone who gains access our services. It is the intention that residents and relatives and professionals will have the opportunity to raise issues at regular meetings with staff in the course of day-to-day contact with staff and the Manager.

The organisation will:

  • Record compliments and ensure that they are brought to the attention of all staff to encourage and develop good practice.
  • Resolve any concerns or complaints as thoroughly and quickly as possible. The information gained will be used to improve the quality of services and be part of the Annual Review Process.
  • Take all complaints or concerns seriously
  • Record all complaints using the correct procedure
  • Inform relevant agencies where appropriate.

In the first instance all complaints should be directed to the Registered Manager using the complaints procedure.

Complaints procedure

  • Speak to or write to the Manager or the person in charge, identifying your concern or complaint. Your communications will be recorded.   Where made in person, it may be possible for the issue to be resolved in the course of raising your concerns by provision of a satisfactory explanation. Equally, agreed action may be taken to resolve the matter.
  • If the matter raised is of a serious nature requiring further investigation, the Manager will write and advise you of the action being taken in response to your complaint. Within 28 days you will be contacted again to advise you of any progress or the outcome.
  • If you are not satisfied with the way the Manager has dealt with your complaint, please write to:

Dr Peter Gardner
Appleford Ltd
Appleford School
Nr Salisbury

The named person with responsibility for following through complaints for this organisation is Amy Elizabeth Skittrall, Registered Manager.

At any stage in the process or, If you are still not satisfied that your complaint has been resolved, you may wish to contact the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission
National Correspondence
Newcastle upon Tyne

Telephone No: 03000 616161 or email:

Process for Dealing with Concerns and Complaints:

All concerns/complaints, verbal or written, must be treated seriously and recorded immediately in writing. The complaint will be investigated thoroughly, fairly and quickly.

Issues raised directly with the person in-charge should be dealt with immediately and supportively. It may be possible to provide a satisfactory explanation or answer in order to resolve the issue of immediate concern. This may include an agreed plan of action.

If the issue of concern is not immediately resolved or if of a serious nature requiring further investigation or where a complaint has been received in writing, inform the Manager or Senior person on duty as soon as possible.

A complainant who is unable to write should be offered the facility for their complaint to be transcribed and other modes of communication should be offered (audio, video, sign language etc.). The person rendering this service should be a Senior Member of Staff, but never the person against whom the complaints are directed.

Any member of staff involved in a complaint should be fully informed of any allegation at the outset.

The Manager must send a letter of receipt to the complainant within five working days. Where the complaint is of a serious or complex nature, requiring further investigation, the draft letter should be referred to the Senior Management Team before being sent out.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Placement Officers/Social Worker should be contacted within 24 hours, where appropriate. CQC may decide to conduct their own investigation if they consider that there may be a breach of regulations. Reporting to the CQC is the responsibility of the Manager.

Immediate action must be taken to fully investigate the circumstances of any complaint. All parties involved should be approached in order to get a complete account. A full documented record must be retained.

If the complaint involves allegations of abuse, the policy on the Protection of Vulnerable Adult applies and the matter should be referred immediately to the Service Manager who would then contact the Adult Protection Team and CQC.

The results of the investigation should be sent to the CQC within 7 days, unless there is unavoidable delay, which should be discussed with the designated Inspector.

Once the investigation is completed, the Manager should reply to the complainant immediately. It is important to avoid complicated technical terms, if the complainant may not understand when completing final report. Included with the letter there should be a copy of the Concerns and Complaint Policy. This will identify further action that may be taken by the complainant if the complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved.

Actions should be identified to prevent a recurrence, including any training and quality improvement issues.

As soon as the management of the complaint has been brought to a satisfactory conclusion, all records must be filed and entry made in the Complaints Book.

Policy for the administration of Complaints

  • Any complaint recorded must be dated and signed by person recording the complaint.
  • If more than one person is involved in the complaint, then statements must be obtained from them as soon as possible.
  • All statements must be attached to the original complaint record.
  • A copy of the complaint must be recorded and placed in the appropriate files (service user, staff as appropriate).
  • The original complaint record is to be logged and kept in the complaints file.
  • If required or requested the complaint must be reported to the appropriate agency (social services, SOVA, CQC and Police).

Complaints procedure

(to be displayed prominently in a public area)

  • All complaints or concerns are taken seriously.
  • All complaints are thoroughly investigated.
  • All agencies must be informed where appropriate.
  • Where service users lack capacity, the registered person must facilitate access to available advocacy services.
  • Every written complaint is acknowledged within five working days.
  • Investigations into written complaints are held within 28 days.
  • All complaints are responded to in writing.
Manager Signature: 
Date:August 2018
Review Date:August 2019