1. Why do SuperCarers have an Issues and Complaints policy?
SuperCarers provides an online introductory and care navigation service matching the requirements of people needing support with the best locally available care providers.
At SuperCarers we believe in facilitating the best introductions and platform. From time to time, however, we understand that issues may arise with the platform service, some of which you may wish to register as a formal complaint. This policy exists to ensure that:
Customers know how to raise an issue or submit a complaint, and what they can expect in response.
SuperCarers’ internal staff know what is expected of them with regard to responding to issues and complaints.
2. What is an issue?
An issue is anything that needs resolving whether it be reported or not, but has not been raised by a person as a formal complaint.
3. What is a complaint?
A complaint in this policy is:
An issue which cannot be resolved informally
A process which formally requires a resolution with a written response within agreed timescales to the person who has raised the complaint.
A customer may wish to make a complaint, as opposed to raise an issue, when:
o they believe an issue raised is not being resolved in a timely and/or appropriate manner; or
o the seriousness of the issue is deemed too significant to be corrected through informal means.
Please note: An issue may be escalated to a complaint at any time whilst it is unresolved.
4. How can an issue be raised or a complaint made?
An issue can be raised or complaint can be made:
In writing to the support lead at SuperCarers, 4th floor, 15 Bonhill Street, London EC2A 4DN
By email to firstname.lastname@example.org
By calling the customer helpline on 020 8629 1030
Third parties are able to raise complaints on behalf of a customer, carer or family member provided they have their permission.
If the reporter wishes for a matter to be treated as a complaint, rather than an issue, they should inform the person they are speaking to or corresponding with.
1. Policy Statement
At SuperCarers we want to know customers’ views on the service we provide. Any informal issues raised and feedback given is used to improve what we do for you and for the wider service.
However, for whatever reason, sometimes a formal process is needed. Where a complaint needs to be raised with us. We will do everything we can to deal with it efficiently, sensitively, within agreed timescales set out in this policy, and with no negative implications for the reporting party.
The Chief Commercial Officer is responsible for ensuring SuperCarers as an organisation acts in line with this policy and procedure.
SuperCarers will ensure an effective issues and complaints process by:
providing clear accessible information to all service users, allowing them to make informed decisions relating to issues and complaints;
ensuring all internal staff understand their responsibilities in regard to complaints;
training SuperCarers HQ staff to have the knowledge required to support families and carers in making a complaint;
gathering the information needed to ensure informed decisions are made;
using information provided to monitor and improve the service SuperCarers give; and
signposting people to further advice if a complaint is not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant.
2. Providing information
SuperCarers will ensure customers are given clear, easy to understand information about how and to whom to raise an issue or make a complaint about the SuperCarers platform. This information will highlight that making a complaint will never adversely affect the service they or other parties receive.
Where a complainant needs more support to make a complaint, SuperCarers will signpost them to appropriate help which may include advocacy services.
2.1. Listening to people
All SuperCarers internal staff will listen carefully and without bias to all, taking forward the issues and complaints they wish to make and making sure their points are raised.
3. Confidentiality and information sharing
Where necessary, relevant information will be shared with the police, local authority, or other relevant agencies.
4. Acting on complaints
4.1 Complaints about SuperCarers service
When SuperCarers receives a complaint made about their service, they will:
acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 48 hours;
gather relevant information in order to make an informed decision about resulting actions;
keep complainants informed of the progress of their complaint, including who is handling it;
operate a two-tier system, giving the complainant the opportunity to escalate the complaint to a senior manager if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint; and
signpost the customer to the relevant ombudsman if the complaint cannot be resolved to their satisfaction.
Where complaints are upheld, SuperCarers will issue a formal apology to the complainant alongside information on the steps taken to put the matter right.
4.2 Learning from complaints and issues
SuperCarers is committed to delivering a service that is super in all aspects, and strives for improvements to be made wherever they can be. All complaints and issues are collected, monitored, evaluated and reported to the Advisory Board, so that opportunities for improvement can be identified and implemented.
1. Roles and responsibilities
SuperCarers has a designated issues and complaints coordinator, namely the Support Lead. They are responsible for coordinating all activities regarding complaints, and as such any complaint should be directed to them as soon as possible.
Issues and Complaints Coordinator
The Issues and Complaints Coordinator, namely the Support Lead, is responsible for coordinating all activities regarding complaints. This includes, but is not limited to:
Liaising with and supporting the individuals who have raised a complaint (unless the complaint is about them, in these cases a suitable member of the senior management will be appointed to deal with the complaint);
Collecting and storing information regarding complaints and issues;
Reviewing the complaints record on a periodic basis;
Escalating complaints, or seeking solutions from the Advisory Board;
Preparing reports relating to complaints for the Advisory Board;
Ensuring that any actions required as a result of the complaint are taken; and
Appointing a suitable deputy to oversee the above duties in the event of their own absence.
As the owner of this policy, the Support Lead is responsible for:
Ensuring that the policy is upheld at all times;
Ensuring that all employees are provided with any training or information and resources required for them to fulfil their obligations as outlined in this policy; and
Keeping the Advisory Board up to date on issues, complaints, and resulting actions
The Chief Commercial Officer is responsible for ensuring SuperCarers as an organisation acts in line with this policy and procedure, and will provide support to the Support Lead as required including during periodic review.
All internal SuperCarers employees have a duty to report issues and complaints to the Complaints coordinator, both in writing and verbally.
Any employee who is alerted to an emergency situation has a duty to ensure that the relevant emergency services are contacted immediately, to avoid any delay.
If any employee has reason to believe that the procedures outlined in this document are not being followed, they are obliged to report their concerns to either the Chief Commercial Officer or the Complaints Coordinator.
All SuperCarers internal staff with direct care recipient and client contact will be trained in how to support the complaints process relevant to their role at induction, and refreshed when required. Lessons learned and new policy information will be shared in team or 1-1 meetings with line managers as and when appropriate.
Dealing with issues
Issues will be dealt with informally by the Service Lead, with feedback given verbally within 24 hours of resolution where requested. They will be logged and marked as issues in the Complaints log in the interests of comprehensive records.
4.1 Gathering of information
If a call is made to the SuperCarers central line, employees should use the Complaints template to record information conveyed about the complaint or issue. This may be information from a SuperCarer, client, family member, member of the public about their own situation or one they have witnessed.
Each section should be completed in detail, in order to establish:
what it is regarding, in as much detail as they wish to give;
where that person is located (if applicable);
whether the reporter is happy for the information to be dealt with as an informal issue, if they have not explicitly stated it is a complaint and the outcome they wish to see; and
the date and time of the call, correspondence or email
The form and any associated correspondence should be forwarded to the Issues and Complaints Coordinator or deputy without delay
The Issues and Complaints Coordinator will assess the information received, and if any information is unclear, contact the individual to establish further facts. Notes taken will include what has been said and when. The individuals questioned will be informed of the reasons for the questioning.
4.2 Evaluation of information
When enough information has been gathered to make an informed decision regarding the action required, the Issues and Complaints Coordinator will in a brief report:
set out the information they have
show their evaluation of the information
set out any actions with timescales where a complaint is being upheld to rectify the complaint
If the information raised is a complaint, the Issues and Complaints Coordinator will acknowledge its receipt to the complainant within 48 hours.
Where necessary, complainants will be kept informed of the progress of their complaint, including who is handling it, at appropriate intervals.
Once the report is finalised, the Issues and Complaints Coordinator will send a written summary of the findings and actions, as well as an apology, to the complainant via email. Details on potential next steps for the complainant will be included.
Where appropriate, the complainant will also be kept informed as to any actions that are incomplete at the time of the summary report.
4.4 Sign off of the report
The report will be sent to the Chief Commercial Officer who will sign it off, or ask for further information to support a finding, within two days of receipt.
4.5 Action taken
SuperCarers has the right to rectify problems within the service brought to its attention through issues and complaints. Depending on the matter, this may involve:
disciplinary procedures being taken against an internal member of staff; and/or
changes to a system or process
Any decision to suspend or remove a service from the SuperCarers platform will be based on an assessment of whether they have, and their ability to, meet the expected standards.
All of these elements may take place without the agreement of the complainant if SuperCarers deem it necessary for the improvement of the service.
All actions will be completed within agreed timescales.
4.6 Second tier review
If requested by the complainant, a second tier review will be conducted. The process followed will be the same as in the original review, but will be undertaken by the Chief operating officer.
Decisions will be taken and communicated within 48 hours of the second tier review being launched.
Monitoring and Quality Assurance
The Complaints Advisor is responsible for monitoring issues and Complaints. This includes the preparation of Quality Assurance reporting for the Advisory Board, to be shared and discussed on a quarterly basis.
The implementation of any lessons learned will be undertaken against an action plan, including action owners and completion dates, and the complainant updated where it is appropriate to do so.
Feedback is an important part of Quality assurance. All complainants will be offered the opportunity to feedback through an evaluation form how they found the complaints process.
Template for recording Issues and complaints
If an individual wishes to raise an issue or complaint (or you identify an issue) follow these steps to record as much information as possible and then email Marked ‘Complaint’ or ‘Issue’ with high importance to the Complaints Lead or their deputy when they are not present, to determine an appropriate response.
Your name ____
Time and date of call______
1. Take the key details:
a. Name of caller/person providing information: ____
Contact number: ____
Name of service user (if not caller): ____
Detail of the services provider it related to: ____
2. Take details of the issue/ complaint:
a. Reason for calling (ask them to explain what has happened and record in their own words) if it is a complaint. Ensure you record that they wish to raise a complaint.
You may need to ask supplementary questions depending on the person’s response:
When did this first arise? ____
Where did it take place? ____
d. Any further information they wish to give?
Advise the person they may need to be contacted further, and ask for the best method to communicate with them.
Glossary of terms used
Care recipient: A person receiving care introduced via the SuperCarers platform
Customer: A person coordinating care on behalf of the care recipient, which may be the care recipient themselves or a family member with authority to do so.
Platform: SuperCarers software, including its website, which is used to connect customers and service providers
Staff: SuperCarers full time and part time employees.
Information linked to this policy
My Expectations for Raising Concerns and Complaints, the Local Government Ombudsman, Health Watch and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman 2015
Listening, Responding, Improving – a guide to better customer care
I have read and understood the content in this policy and agree to uphold its principles