The complaints journey – a summary of what people say they expect from us

Deciding to complain

People should expect to be:

  • easily able to find information about us, our role and the service we provide
  • reassured about using our services, and confident that it is worth complaining about a public organisation.

Making the complaint

People should expect to be:

  • able to contact us by their preferred method, listened to and taken seriously and have a sympathetic ear
  • supported to make their complaint, helped to get to the core of their problem and the outcome they would like, with help to find advocacy services if needed
  • able to understand how the complaint process works
  • reassured that their complaint will not affect their use of their local service.

Keeping up to date

People should expect to be:

  • kept up to date about the progress of their case, including timescales, and able to contact their caseworker if they have any questions
  • able to receive communications that are easy to understand and appropriate to their case
  • confident in the ability of their caseworker and any expert advisors
  • confident that we will be able to obtain all the necessary evidence we need for their case, and make sound judgments where evidence may be missing.

Receiving the final decision

People should expect to be:

  • able to receive a draft report at an arranged time, and have enough time to review it and make comments
  • able to receive a final report that clearly explains the decision, and how this was reached
  • confident that an independent, robust and thorough investigation has taken place
  • able to clearly understand the next steps and to have ongoing support if necessary
  • able to understand how to have their case reviewed, if they want.

Reflecting back on the experience

People should expect to be:

  • confident that the recommendations we make will help to improve the services they are complaining about, including our ability to enforce these
  • kept up-to-date with what has changed as a result of their complaint
  • able to have a sense of closure and acceptance, and feel that the system works, even if the decision wasn’t what they would have wanted.