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If you are unhappy about the care you or someone you know has received, you have the right to make a complaint to us.

We have separate guidance for problems with hospital discharge.

How it works

If you are unhappy about a service or the way you have been treated, the first step is to contact the member of staff you are dealing with (or their manager).

Don’t be afraid to make a complaint as it will not count against you in any way. If you know the name of the member of staff but not their telephone number, you can request this information from our Customer Contact Centre.

Complaints about health care

If your complaint is about the NHS or Mental Health Trust, we can pass your complaint on to them. You can also get in touch with them directly:

If your complaint is about both an adult social care and NHS issue, you can either contact us or the NHS directly. We will work together to give you one combined response.

Ways to complain

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.

What happens next

We hope that most concerns can be settled by talking to the member of staff you originally contacted about your complaint. If you tell them what it is that is worrying you, they will try to find a solution by the end of the next working day if possible. It is important to give them all the information you have as this will help them to assess your concerns correctly and resolve them quickly. We call this an early resolution.

If you are not happy with our response

If an early resolution hasn't been possible, your concerns will be logged as a formal complaint and acknowledged within three working days. We will make every effort to resolve it quickly and effectively.

We will appoint someone to investigate your complaint and we will contact you to agree the best way to reach a satisfactory outcome.

As part of this process we will:

  • Go through the reasons for your complaint, identifying each aspect of the complaint, to make sure that we understand your concerns properly. We would normally do this by phone, but we are able to meet you if that suits you better
  • Agree a complaint ‘plan’, including how we will investigate your complaint and the time it will take. Our aim is to complete most complaints within 25 working days, but some complaints may take longer to resolve
  • Ask you what you would like to happen as a result of your complaint and tell you if we think this is realistic
  • Ask you how you wish to be kept informed about the progress of your complaint, and make sure we contact you regularly. This can be by phone, letter, email or through a third party such as an advocacy or support service

If you feel your concerns have not been resolved after this process, we can consider doing further work on your complaint. We will continue working on your complaint until we reach a final agreed resolution, or agree no further progress can be made. You will be involved in every step.


If your complaint is difficult to resolve, or if there is a breakdown in communication, we may appoint an impartial mediator. This will be someone who has no connection with the Council or the NHS, to help us reach a conclusion that everybody is satisfied with.

Unreasonable behaviour

We will do our best to resolve the issue as quickly as we can. If you become angry or impatient with our staff whilst making a complaint, or are unreasonably persistent in your contact, we reserve the right to make use of our policy on Unreasonable Complainant Behaviour (pdf, 136 KB)

Taking matters further

If you are still not satisfied at this stage, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman.

Complaints report

View our Adult Social Care Complaints Report 2022 to 2023.

Updated: 15 November 2023

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