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Complaints procedure

A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction regarding the behaviour of an organisation, an individual staff member or volunteer within it or the standard of service provided.

Complaints about the local authority

The local authority has a complaints procedure for children’s services that involves three stages that is overseen by the Complaints Manager:

Stage 1 Local Resolution

This is where there is a resolution of your complaint by the service manager of the service that you wish to complain about.

Stage 2 Investigation

This is where the service manager is asked to undertake an investigation of the issues identified in your complaint if this has not been resolved at stage 1.

Stage 3 Review Panel

This occurs where parents, carers or young person is not satisfied with the response received to their complaint at stage 2.  They have the right to request a ‘review panel’ which must be held within 30 days of receiving the request.

If the complaint is not resolved through stage 3 of the process, the complaint can be made to the Local Government Ombudsman. This must be made within 12 months of the matter being raised as the subject of the complaint.

How do I make a complaint regarding Social Care?

Complaints to the NHS can be made in relation to all health services that a child or young person receives as part of an EHC plan. A complaint can be made to:

  • A service provider (e.g. NHS Hospital Trust) where there are concerns regarding the service provided
  • The Clinical Commissioning Group where there are concerns regarding the way in which a service is commissioned or provided including the appropriateness of the services in an EHC Plan
  • Support can be provided by the NHS Complaints advocacy services.  

Where complaints are not resolved through either of the above processes, the Parliamentary Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) can be contacted who can conduct joint investigations with the Local Government Ombudsman where a complaint includes concerns regarding the delivery of the health provision in EHC plans.