Complaints and Incidents

  • No one likes complaints, which are often bad for business but they can also present positive opportunities if dealt with well.  Where a genuine grievance has been dealt with and resolved in an understanding and diligent manner the relationship between the home and the complainant may be strengthened and improved.
  • We have long experience of investigating complaints received by care homes whether they are from residents, relatives, other visitors or staff. 
  • An external and objective investigation can carry more credibility and weight, especially where the subject matter is sensitive or complex and needs careful handling to arrive at a satisfactory resolution or responses in correspondence need skilful drafting.
  • We can provide support at meetings with complainants and representatives from other investigating agencies e.g. local authority personnel.
  • We can also speak to the complainant on behalf of the provider to get to the heart of the matter and help formulate a response that resolves the situation satisfactorily.

Case study

Our client operates an elderly persons’ home in East Anglia.

A resident’s relative complained vociferously about her father’s care, alleging that staff had neglected him by failing to ensure that he took all his medication despite having been firmly instructed to do so by her upon his admission for two weeks respite care.

Our client asked us to investigate the matter.

We found that the resident in question had consistently refused to take one particular prescribed medicine because he disliked its taste.

We contacted the complainant and explained the limits of staff’s authority to insist that a resident with mental capacity accept any form of treatment. We explained that staff could only encourage her father to follow the GP’s prescription, pointing out the risks and benefits associated with it but were not permitted to coerce him into taking any medicine against his will.

The complainant was reluctant to accept the concept of her father’s right to make decisions but we did not uphold the complaint, on the grounds that staff had acted correctly in respecting the resident’s wishes and had fully documented the situation.

Our completed complaint investigation report and the written response sent to the complainant was placed on the home’s complaints file and provided compelling evidence of how well the provider’s complaint system worked in line with Outcome 17 of the essential standards of quality and safety.