How to make a complaint

This guide explains our corporate complaints procedure, which can be used for most of our services.

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Guide contents

How it works

If you are unhappy with one of our services, you have the right to make a complaint to us. This is stage 1 of our complaints procedure.

Most of our services follow the same complaints procedure, which is explained on this page.

A small number of services however, have their own separate procedure for dealing with appeals and complaints.

Before you continue you should check the procedure for the service you are complaining about.

Check which procedure to use

Ways to complain

If the service you wish to complain about follows our corporate complaints procedure, you can use any of the complaint methods listed below.

If the service uses another procedure, you should follow the relevant guidance.

We will normally only consider complaints about things which happened in the past 12 months. However, in some cases we may be able to consider complaints outside of this period.

To make a corporate complaint you can:

You can ask for help to complete a complaints leaflet at any of our offices.

What happens next

We will let you know we have received your complaint within two working days. We will tell you who is dealing with your complaint and when you can expect to get a response.

A manager will then investigate your complaint and usually reply to you within 15 working days. If we cannot reply within this time, we will let you know the reason why.

If you are not happy with our response, we will listen to your concerns. If needed, we can give you advice about escalating your complaint.

Not happy with response

If you are not satisfied with the response we give during stage 1, you can ask for your complaint to be escalated. This is stage 2 of our complaints procedure.

To do this you should contact the person named on your stage 1 letter, within 20 working days. You can do this by telephone, letter or email.

What happens next

We will let you know we have received your stage 2 complaint within two working days.

A senior manager (known as the 'Investigating Officer') will investigate your complaint and write a letter for the Director of the service to consider, approve and sign.

A senior manager from a different service (known as an 'Independent Person'), who is not connected to the service you have complained about, will work alongside the Investigating Officer. This is to ensure that all aspects of the complaint are responded to, and to provide an objective viewpoint.

We will tell you the names of both the 'Investigating Officer' and the 'Independent Person'.

The Director of the service will usually send you a stage 2 response letter within 25 working days. If we cannot reply within this time, we will let you know why, and when you can expect to get a response.

If you are still not satisfied after stage 2 of our complaints procedure, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman.

Updated: 19 April 2017