How a strong Complaints Handling Procedure can provide peace of mind

In amongst the numerous daily duties and routine
requirements of running a care home, it is inevitable that, occasionally,
things can go wrong, and complaints will be made. When this does happen, it can
sometimes result in a disproportionate amount of stress being inflicted on all
parties involved. Residents’ representatives are understandably protective of
their loved ones and their interests, while care home managers and staff are,
understandably, likely to take any accusation of impropriety or wrongdoing
personally.

This unfortunate fact can end up leading to
people becoming distracted from what should be most important: providing
compassionate and competent care to those members of our society who need it
most – particularly during these difficult and unprecedented times.

While no two complaints are going to be the same,
it is important that a robust complaints handling procedure (CHP) is put into
place at every care home. This gives care home managers and staff the peace of
mind that when they do receive a complaint, they are able to address it in an
efficient and coherent manner that pays heed to the relevant aspects of
consumer law.

This is why the Chartered Trading Standards
Institute
(CTSI) and the Department for Business, Energy
and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in accordance with the Competition and Markets
Authority (CMA) have published a new guidance resource that focuses on how care
homes should deal with complaints in a way that ensures they are resolved
fairly, amicably and – ideally – quickly.

The Care home complaints portal,
is available for free on the Business Companion website – the free government –
backed website written by trading standards experts to help you understand the
laws that affect your business. It describes in plain English the key terms and
concepts involved in complaints handling, including information about legal
requirements, escalating complaints to outside bodies, and staff training.

It also includes a free downloadable guidance booklet
which contains flowcharts illustrating the CHP to follow in various
circumstances as well as further, more detailed information.

Leon Livermore, CTSI Chief Executive, says:

“Our authors have looked at much of the good work done by the
many different bodies involved in adult social care over the past few years.

“It’s important that we all work together to improve the
lives of people living in care home accommodation. This guidance has been
designed to put residents at the heart of the care they receive, and to help
them live fulfilling lives with dignity and respect.”

Putting
aside a few minutes of an already busy day may not seem, in the current
situation, like time well spent. However, familiarising yourself and your staff
with the guidance now could make all the difference further down the line, and
will help ensure that your care home is able to address complaints with
confidence and professionalism.

This
will, when things return to normal, allow you to dedicate as much time as
possible to what’s important: caring for vulnerable people in the best way
possible.

Click
here
to read an
overview of the guidance; click
here to download the free booklet.

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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