How a Clear Complaints Procedure is Important for Reducing the Likelihood of Abuse

It is important that individuals feel able to challenge poor standards of care. They should know how to complain and feel confident to make a complaint without fear of reprisal. The factors that need to be included in a complaints procedure to reduce the likelihood of abuse are:

  • Information should be available in different, user-friendly formats. These should explain clearly what abuse is and also how to express concern and make a complaint.
  • Individuals should be informed that their concern or complaint will be taken seriously, be dealt with independently and that they will be kept involved in the process to the degree that they wish to be.
  • The individual should be reassured that they will receive help and support in taking action on their behalf
  • The individual should be advised that they can nominate an advocate or representative to speak and act on their behalf if they wish.
  • If an adult has no appropriate person to support them, and has substantial difficulty in being involved, they must be informed of their right to an independent advocate
  • Clear and effective complaints procedures reduce the need for staff to have to resort to whistleblowing to raise a concern
  • Complaints are logged and monitored and this enables organisations to check the success of their policies and their workforce’s ability to put them into practice. It enables organisations to identify failings in a system, policy or practice so that they can address them to prevent them from happening again or escalating. It also enables the organisation to spot trends.
  • Complaints are dealt with using official processes, are not ignored and that there is a clear record and investigation into the matters raised

An open and honest culture can encourage individuals to raise concerns before they come to harm. You should do what is appropriate in your role to try to resolve any concerns . For Active’s complaints procedure see section 3.5 and 3.9 of the Staff Handbook.

Use to answer question 10.2f of the Care Certificate

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