Document 178677
How to make a
comment, complaint
or compliment
Help us to improve
adult social care
Updated for
Social Care Direct 0345 60 80 191
Getting this information
in other languages
If you need a translation of this leaflet, please
phone Social Care Direct on 0345 60 80 191.
0345 60 80 191
0345 60 80 191.
0345 60 80 191.
0345 60 80 191
Kurdish Sorani
0345 60 80 191.
Aby uzyskać tłumaczenie niniejszej ulotki naley skontaktować
się z Oddziałem ds. opieki społecżnej (Social Care Direct) pod
numerem telefonu 0345 60 80 191.
Se precisar de uma tradução deste folheto, contacte
a Social Care Direct pelo telefone 0345 60 80 191.
[email protected]
How to make a comment,
complaint or compliment
We welcome all your views
We’d like to hear from you if you have a suggestion on how we can
improve our service. You can write to us at the address on this page,
or tell us in person.
We aim to provide you with the best possible service. So, if we get
it wrong, we want to know about it. We aim to sort out complaints
quickly and fairly and we will try to sort out any mistake or
misunderstanding straight away. Sometimes it may take a bit of
time to sort out a problem, but we will tell you how long it will take.
If you make a complaint it won’t affect any service you get now or in
the future. We learn from complaints and if necessary we will change
things to improve what we do. We keep records of all the complaints
we receive. We check these records regularly to help us to:
see where we need to make changes and improve services; and
make sure we are dealing with complaints effectively and
If you’re particularly happy with any part of the service you receive,
please tell us. You can write to us at the address on this page, or
tell us in person. We will record your views and pass them on to
the people involved.
Your comments, complaints and compliments are dealt with by
our complaints unit. You can contact them at:
Social Care Direct 0345 60 80 191
Complaints Unit
Adult Social Care
East Sussex County Council
County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent
Lewes BN7 1UE
Phone: 01273 481242
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 01273 481331
You can also contact them by text message from your mobile phone.
Please send your text to 07797 877777.
If you need an interpreter or sign-language interpreter, we can
arrange this for you.
Making a complaint
Who can make a complaint?
 You, if you are the person who receives the service.
 Someone acting on your behalf who has your permission.
 Your next of kin (your partner or other close family member)
who has authority to act on your behalf, if you are not able
to make decisions for yourself.
What can I complain about?
You can complain about any part of our service, including:
 a poor-quality service – including services we’ve arranged
but which are delivered by an independent care provider;
 our attitude or behaviour;
 your assessments, care plan or review of your services.
Who can help me make a complaint?
You can ask a friend or relative to speak to us on your behalf,
as long as we know they have your permission.
Or, if you prefer, you can ask us to put you in touch with an
independent organisation such as Citizens Advice, or we can help
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you find someone to help you make your complaint (an ‘advocate’).
If you need someone to help you make a complaint, please read our
fact sheet about advocacy ‘Independent advocacy – Someone to
speak up for you’. (See page 9 for details of how to get a copy of
any of our fact sheets or leaflets.)
Other organisations
If your complaint also involves a service provided by the NHS or
another organisation, with your permission we will contact them
and agree who will reply to you. We will tell you who will reply to
all your complaints. You won’t necessarily have to wait for separate
replies from each organisation.
How can I complain?
A good start is to contact the person or team who has been involved
in the situation you want to complain about. They will try to sort
things out quickly.
If you would rather speak to someone else, you can contact our
complaints unit who will help you. You can contact them by phone,
email, letter or text message, whichever is easiest for you. Their
contact details are on page 4.
What happens when I make a complaint?
 When you contact us with your concerns, you can tell us what
you think would put things right. We will see if we can sort
out the problem straight away without you needing to do
anything else.
 We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days.
 In our acknowledgement letter we will let you know:
if it is suitable to set up a meeting to discuss your concerns;
how long it is likely to take us to look at your complaint; and
who will reply to you.
This is called your complaint plan.
Social Care Direct 0345 60 80 191
We will try to sort out most complaints within 10 to 20 working days.
You will receive a letter from the manager named in your complaint
plan, explaining what they will do to put things right. Sometimes
they may not agree with all of your complaint. If so, they will give
reasons for this in their letter.
What happens if I am not satisfied with
the manager’s response to my complaint?
If you are not happy with the manager’s response to your complaint,
you should contact our complaints unit straight away. We will
discuss why you are still not happy and what else you think we
should do to put things right.
We will then discuss your concerns with the senior manager
responsible for the service and look at what was said in the
reply to your complaint.
We will see if there is any way of sorting out your complaint without
having to investigate it further. We may, for example, suggest a
meeting with the senior manager to talk about your concerns.
We will write to you to explain what further action, if any, we can
take to deal with your complaint. If your complaint is very
complicated, we may decide that we should investigate it further.
Sometimes complaints are so serious or complicated that they need
to be investigated by someone who is not directly involved with the
service. If this is the case, we will appoint an investigating officer to
look into your complaint.
[email protected]
Local Government Ombudsman
If you are not happy with the final decision or the way we have
dealt with your complaint, you can at any time contact the Local
Government Ombudsman for their views.
The Local Government Ombudsman
PO Box 4771
Local Government Ombudsman Advice Team
Phone: 0300 061 0614 or 0845 602 1983
Email: [email protected]
Text: 0762 480 3014 (Text ‘call back’ to this
number, and an adviser will call you back.)
Fax: 024 7682 0001
Exceptions and special circumstances
Information that comes from, or is connected to, a complaint
may lead to:
action under our staff personnel procedures;
a police criminal investigation;
an investigation to protect an adult at risk or a child; or
a legal process, such as applying for a court order or a
legal claim of negligence against us.
When this happens, we might need to put the complaints procedure
on hold until these other processes are finished. We will tell you
why we need to do this, and we will deal with your complaint as
soon as possible.
Social Care Direct 0345 60 80 191
If your comment or complaint
is about local health services
PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) provide advice and
information about health services in East Sussex. They can also
help to sort out any problems or concerns you may have about
local health services. You can contact them at:
36-38 Friars Walk
Lewes BN7 2PB.
Phone: 0300 1000 891
Fax: 01273 485333
Email: [email protected]
The Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (for mental
health services) has its own PALS. You can contact them at:
Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Woodside, The Drive
Hellingly BN27 4ER
Phone: 01323 446042
Email: [email protected]
The service is open between 9am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday.
At other times you can leave a confidential message on the
If you are unhappy about the way someone
is treating you or someone you know
If you need social care or health care and cannot protect yourself
from harm for any reason, we say you are an ‘adult at risk’. That
is, you could be at risk of harm or abuse from others. If you are
persuaded to do something against your will, or you’re taken
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advantage of because your personal circumstances make it difficult
to say ‘no’ or you do not fully understand the consequences of your
action, then that is abuse.
Anything another person does to you that goes against your human
or civil rights can be abuse. It might be one event or something
that happens repeatedly. As well as physical harm, abuse can be
psychological, emotional, sexual or financial harm. Discrimination
and neglect are also types of abuse.
If you think this applies to you, or that another adult is at risk or
is being abused, please contact Social Care Direct for advice and
support. Their phone number and email address are at the top of
these pages. Details of other ways to contact them are on the back
of this leaflet. Our fact sheet ‘Safeguarding adults – protecting
adults from abuse’ is on our website at or
you can ask Social Care Direct to send you a copy. In an emergency
you can call 999 for immediate help.
Getting more information about social care
For more information, please read our other leaflets ‘Getting support
from Adult Social Care’ and ‘The cost of your social-care support’.
They are available from Social Care Direct, or you can download
them from our website at
Social Care Direct
0345 60 80 191
(Calls are charged at your phone company’s
local rate and may be recorded.)
Textphone: 01323 4666 30
01323 466567
Email:[email protected]
You can also contact us by text message from your mobile phone.
Please send your text to 07797 878111.
Social Care Direct 0345 60 80 191
The following fact sheets give
more detail about our services
Who qualifies for our services? Eligibility criteria explained
Independent advocacy – Someone to speak up for you
Your information and how we use it –
Our guarantee about your social-care record
FS4 Supporting People
FS5 Safeguarding adults – protecting adults from abuse
FS6 Useful contacts
FS7 Financial assessment for support at home
FS8 Financial assessment for residential care
FS9 Ways to pay for your care
FS10 Direct Payments
FS11 Help with housework or shopping services – a practical guide
FS12 Self-directed support – 7 easy stages
FS13 Travel and transport – a practical guide
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More information
IL01 Getting support from
Adult Social Care
A guide to what we can offer
IL02 The cost of your
social-care support
How we work out what you have to pay
IL04 Do you look after someone?
Support for you if you’re a carer
Getting more copies of this leaflet
You can get all our leaflets in large print,
easy-read format (simple words and
pictures), in Braille, on audio tape or CD,
or in other languages if you ask us. Please
phone Social Care Direct on 0345 60 80 191
for any of our leaflets or fact sheets. You can
also download them from our website at
East Sussex County Council
County Hall
St Anne’s Crescent
Lewes BN7 1UE
Phone: 0345 60 80 190
Fax: 01273 481261
September 2012  12-13 373 (IL03)