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16.1 Comments, Compliments and Complaints Procedure

The Department of Health and Social Care provides a wide range of services to the people of the island. We need to know what our service users think about our services so that we can improve them where necessary. Their comments - comments, good or bad, will help us to know how to change things for the better. We want to get it right.


  1. Making a Complaint
  2. Comments and Compliments
  3. Three Stages of the Process

1. Making a Complaint

Who can complain?

  • Any child or young person receiving or wanting a service from us under the Children & Young Persons Act 2001;
  • The parent or carer of a child receiving or wanting a service from us, if they have Parental Responsibility;
  • Anyone who is acting on behalf of a child receiving or wanting a service such as a Foster Carer or Advocate who has an interest in the child’s welfare.

2. Comments and Compliments

If service users wish to make a comment about a service, or if they want to compliment any of our services, they can do one of two things:

  1. Tell the person who provides you with the service what they think;
  2. Write to the manager of the service with their comments or compliments.

3. Three Stages of the Process

STAGE 1 - Resolution

(The majority of complaints are resolved at this stage.)

They can make your complaint:

  • Over the telephone;
  • In writing;
  • In person;
  • By e-mail.

We ask them to tell us why they are unhappy and what they would like us to do to put it right.

Their complaint will be acknowledged within three working days and the person looking into it will talk to you about your complaint and how we can put things right. We aim to resolve complaints at Stage 1 in 14 working days.

STAGE 2 – Investigation

At the end of Stage 1, if you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can ask for your complaint to be investigated further.

An investigating officer will then be asked to look into your complaint. Once we are sure of what you want us to look into, this investigation will then start. You should receive a report within 28 working days telling you:

  • What was found;
  • What the Department has decided to do about it;
  • Why the decisions were reached.

If their complaint is complicated, this may take longer than 28 days. The investigating officer will keep them informed about any delays.

STAGE 3 – Independent Review

They may be unhappy with the stage 2 reply and may want an independent person to look at their complaint. To request this they must apply within 4 weeks of receiving the written report to Stage 2. The independent person will then:

  • Re-examine the concerns raised;
  • Talk to all parties involved in the complaint;
  • Seek specialist advice if required.

Once they have gathered all of the necessary information, they will prepare a report which they should receive within 28 working days telling them:

  • The result of their investigations;
  • Any appropriate comments and conclusions;
  • Any appropriate recommendations.

The independent investigating officer’s findings are final.