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Your right to compliment and complain

A guide to using the Social Services Complaints Procedure

Who are we?
All compliments and complaints are recorded and managed by the Complaints Team.

How do you ask for help and advice?
You, or someone on your behalf, can contact the Complaints Team with your comment, compliment or complaint. You can write to us, phone or e-mail:

The Complaints Team
Social Services
County Hall
Mold
Flintshire CH7 6NN

Phone: 01352 702623 or 702668
Email: myview@flintshire.gov.uk

Tell us what you think about Social Services, or why you’re unhappy, and we’ll listen.
Flintshire Social Services aim to provide high quality services. However, there may be occasions when people using or wanting to use our services will want to comment or complain about the service they receive. When you express your concerns or complain to us, we will listen. We need to know if things are going wrong or not happening according to plan so we can review the situation and help put things right for you.

Don’t be afraid to complain and please be reassured that just because you make a complaint, any support you receive from us or any of your future dealings with us will not be affected.

Making a Complaint
Stage 1 – Local Resolution
We believe it’s best to deal with any issue straight away rather than try to sort the problem out later. If you have a concern, raise it with the person you are dealing with (e.g. your Social Worker). They will try to resolve it for you there and then.

If we are unable to resolve your complaint immediately or by the end of the next working day, you can contact the Complaints Team directly. You can do this in person, by telephone, in writing or by email. You do not have to put your complaint into writing. The Complaints Team can be contacted by following the details at the front of this booklet. After receiving your complaint:

• Your complaint will be recorded and acknowledged within 2 working days of us receiving it.
• You will the opportunity to discuss your complaint with a Manager within 10 working days of your complaint being acknowledged. This will be either face to face or over the telephone.
• Every effort will be made to make sure the problems are sorted out at this stage.
• Once you and the Manager have agreed on how your complaint will be resolved, they will write to you within 5 working days of that date.
• Occasionally we might suggest mediation or another method to reach resolution.

Stage 2 – Formal Consideration

• If you are unhappy with the our response at Stage 1, you have the right to request for your complaint to be investigated independently at Stage 2.
• The Complaints Team will discuss your request in more detail with you.
• We will appoint an Independent Investigator to look into your complaint.
• These investigations should take 25 working days to complete, but more time may be required depending on the complexity of the complaint.
• You do have the right to take your complaint straight to Stage 2, but we believe the quickest and simplest way to resolve your concerns is to do this at Stage 1.

Do you need help or support to get your views across?
Flintshire has a range of free and independent organisations that can help make your voice heard and support you making a complaint. These include:

Flintshire Advocacy Service support work with adults, older people, younger people with dementia and carers
Telephone: 01352 759332
Email: FAS@flintshireadvocacy.co.uk
Web: www.flintshireadvocacy.co.uk

North Wales Advice and Advocacy Association provide advice and advocacy for people with learning disabilities
Telephone: 01248 670852
Email: enquiry@nwaaa.co.uk
Web: www.nwaaa.co.uk

Age Connects provide help and advice for older people
Telephone: 08450 549969
E-mail: info@acnew.org.uk
Web: www.acnew.org.uk

North East Wales Carer Information Service
Telephone: 01352 752525
Email: flintshire@newcis.org.uk
Web: www.carers.org/local-service/flintshire

The Children’s Commissioner for Wales can advise and support children and young people (and their parents/carers) who are under 18 (or under 25 years old if they have been in care).
Telephone: 01492 523333
E-mail: post@childcomwales.org.uk
Web: www.childcom.org.uk

Paying a compliment
We also want to hear from you if you think we have done well with something. This may be a compliment about your Social Worker or your Carer. It’s important that we hear about any good work that someone may have done with you. You can email, phone or write to the Complaints Team, who will make sure your compliment is shared with the staff member concerned, as well as Managers and Councillors.