We all at one time or another are dissatisfied with a service we have received. If you decide you need to make a formal complaint here is some useful information to help you with your complaint. All the agencies that I have listed below will have a complaints procedure that you will need to follow. Although each one will be slightly different to the next, the process is the same. Here are some tips to make sure your complaint is dealt with appropriately and in a timely manner:
- You MUST make it clear you want to make a formal complaint: If you make written representation make sure the heading clearly states FORMAL COMPLAINT;
- Keep your complaint clear and to the point so whoever is reading your letter knows exactly what your issues are:
- I like to use bullet points it helps to keep things clear and makes sure you have listed everything you want looked into;
- List dates, departments, events and names of people if you can, this will make it easier for whoever is dealing with the complaint to look into it in a timely manner;
- Once you have written the letter / email take a breather and have a second look at the content and the tone. As angry, frustrated and upset as you may be try to keep what you put in your complaint factual rather than emotional. Of course it’s ok to say you are upset frustrated or angry but you need the complaint to be heard/seen and not lost amongst emotion;
- If you have a telephone discussion always ask for a written record of the call, sometimes we do not hear what is being said to us or there is so much information it is difficult to remember it all. If you have a meeting ask for a written record of the meeting, again this will ensure that you can look back at the discussion that took place and any actions that were agreed;
- The very fact that you wish to make a complaint suggests that you are unhappy or upset with a service or a person. As the parents/carers of children and young people we sometimes do not hear everything that is being said to us. If you are offered a meeting ask to take someone along with you for support. Children and young people may be entitled to an advocate to support them.
We all as parents, carers, professionals, want the best outcome for our children and young people but sometimes we don’t always get it right which is why there is a complaints mechanism. If you are unhappy with something, let someone know so it can be looked at.
If you want to talk over your complaint with someone before you make a formal complaint you can contact the Investigations and Advice team who will be able to offer initial advice and advise you on the process.
Below is a list of agencies that you might have the need to contact when making a complaint, with details of their complaints process:
Children wishing to complain may be entitled to an advocate to support them
The local Community Health Council will support you in making a complaint about a health provision
Click on this link if you would like to have more information on making a complaint.
Children and young people wishing to complain may be entitled to an advocate to support them
Children and young people have their own right of appeal to SENTW and may be entitled to an advocate
The Children’s Commissioner for Wales is also a prescribed person for whistleblowing