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Complaints and compliments

Your feedback is important to us. Have we done well or do you think we can do better? Let us know!

We strive to make sure everyone has a great experience when they interact with us. This is outlined in our Customer Experience Framework.

We are committed to making it easier for you to provide feedback to us. We value your views and welcome all feedback, good or bad. We will ensure it is used to improve our services.

If you have a query that is not a complaint or feedback, you can search for a service or contact us.

Compliments and feedback

We are always happy to hear from people who are satisfied with the services we offer.   

All compliments are recorded and a copy is sent to the relevant service manager to provide feedback to the member of staff or service.

Send a compliment

Complaints

If things go wrong, we want to try and put them right.

Complaints play a role in maintaining and improving standards and the quality of service provided.

Before making a complaint, it’s quicker and easier to discuss an issue with the service involved. They are in the best position to quickly put things right. If you are still not happy after contacting the service, you can make a complaint.

You must make a complaint within 12 months of the event or of finding out you have a reason to complain. We can only consider complaints after this time in exceptional circumstances.

Policies and procedures

Important: the nature of your complaint will affect if or how we deal with it. Please read the relevant section before you continue:

Adult Social Care Services

Complaints process

  • You make a complaint.
    • Someone else can make a complaint on your behalf, but we will need your written permission to share information with them.
  • We acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and tell you who is handling it.
  • The complaint will normally be investigated by the service involved. They will contact you to try and understand why you are not happy and what outcome you want.
  • We will agree a timescale with you but aim to resolve within 20 days (unless the complaint is complex).
  • If you are not happy after we have investigated your complaint, you can Ask the Ombudsman to review your case.

If your complaint involves more than one organisation, Adult Care and Health bodies will co-operate to provide a joint response. For more information, please read:

Make a complaint

If you want to complain about a private or voluntary care provider, you must contact the Care Quality Commission.

If your complaint is about a Council adult care service, we will need to know:

  • Your full name, address and contact details.
  • As much detail about the complaint, including:
    • What went wrong?
    • Who was involved?
    • How would you like us to resolve this?

Make a complaint

Children's Care Services

If you are not happy with the care that you or someone else is receiving, it is your right to complain. We will always take your complaint seriously. Give us a chance to put things right.

Complaints about Children’s Services can be made by:

  • A child receiving social work services from us.
  • Someone on behalf of a child receiving social work services from us.
  • Services to children leaving care.

If a child or young person wants to complain, they have the right to be supported by the council's Children's Rights and Advocacy Service. An advocate will listen to them and can speak on their behalf if they want.

We are dedicated to resolving complaints with you. This means that the manager investigating your complaint will want to talk to you, listen to your thoughts and work towards resolving your concerns as soon as possible.

Complaints about the following are covered under this statutory procedure:

  • Children in need
  • Looked after children
  • Special Guardianship support
  • Post-adoption support

Complaints about the following may not be considered under this procedure:

  • Early Help
  • Child protection including S47 enquiries and conferences
  • Assessments of potential foster carers and post-adoption support
  • Foster carer registration
  • Section 7 and Section 37 court reports

A complaint that relates to Children’s Social Care but does not relate specifically to the provision of Social Care will be dealt with via the Council’s Corporate Complaints Policy, as a non-statutory complaint. For example:

  • Education & Inclusion
  • Family Intervention
  • Youth Service

Getting the best from complaints, sets out which of a council’s children’s social care functions can be considered under the statutory procedure.

If your complaint is about a school, please see: Complain about a school (GOV.UK).

Statutory Process

Stage 1 – Attempt to resolve issues

A manager will look into your complaint.

Most problems can be dealt with quickly and informally at this stage.

We will deal with your complaint within 10 working days. For complex cases, we may take up to 10 more working days to provide a more complete response.

If you are not happy with the outcome of stage 1, you can ask to go to the next stage. Someone from the complaints team will talk through your options and what happens next.

Stage 2 - Formal enquiries and independent investigation

At this point an Investigating Officer will be chosen. They will not work in the part of the service you are complaining about.

An Independent Person will help make sure the investigation is fair and thorough. This person is not a Council employee and will have no direct links to the person being complained about. They may want to meet with you in person to check they understand your complaint.

Once the investigation is completed, the response will be issued by the Assistant Director.

Stage 2 should be completed within 25 working days. This can extend up to a maximum of 65 working days. We will keep you informed if it goes over 25 working days.

Stage 3 - Independent review panel considers complaint

The independent Review Panel is made up of 3 people who do not work for the Children & Young People Service.

This will be held within 30 working days of receiving the request and will consider the reasons for your continued dissatisfaction.

The panel will make recommendations and the Director will write back with their decision. If you are still not happy with the decision, you can Ask the Ombudsman.

More information

Please visit: Calderdale Children’s Social Care Procedures.

Make a complaint

Make a complaint

Councillor or Member of Parliament

Complaints about Councillors or MP’s are not covered under the council’s complaints policy.

To complain about a:

Corporate Complaints Policy (all other services)

Aims of this policy

  • Provide excellent public service by considering feedback and improving services.
  • Address complaints promptly, effectively and fairly.
  • Work with complainants to understand their concerns and desired resolutions.
  • Maintain clear and responsive communication.
  • Use plain English in written correspondences and support them with actionable steps.
  • Treat all customers fairly, taking equality and diversity into account.
  • Consider individual needs and make reasonable adjustments as required.

The process

We aim to:

  • Acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 2 working days.
  • Respond within 10 working days (or 20 working days where required).

Note: You can Ask the Ombudsman to review your complaint, if:

  • you are not happy with our decision;
  • or how we handled your complaint.

This policy covers

Complaints about most Council services which relate to:

  • A failure to provide a service.
  • A failure to provide a service at the level or standard you would reasonably expect.
  • The unhelpful attitude of a Council employee.
  • A failure to follow the policies and procedures of the Council.
  • A failure to consider all relevant information in coming to a decision.
  • A failure to inform people of their rights.
  • A failure to provide information or the right information in a timely manner.

Make a complaint

This policy does not cover

We provide a wide range of services and there may be more appropriate ways for some matters to be addressed.

If we will not deal with a complaint, we will write to you to explain why.

These are not covered under this policy:

General service requests

A request for service or problem report will be passed to the relevant service for action. Examples include: reporting a missed waste collection or faulty street light. You can request, report or pay many council services online.

Do it online

Appeals processes

These are in place in a number of areas that include: school admissions, parking, benefit claims and planning applications.

If a formal process exists, it will be used to address your concerns.

Search for a service.

Children's education

Please contact your child's school or academy direct.

For advice, you can contact:

  • The Schools Complaint Unit at the Department of Education.
  • Education and Skills Funding Agency.

When a legal challenge is being made regarding whether a decision, action (or lack of action) is lawful. This is a separate process to the ombudsman so will not be considered under the complaint policy.

Employment Issues

Complaints made by employees concerning their employment will be referred to Human Resources to be considered in line with internal HR procedures.

Complaints made by job applicants who wish to complain about the recruitment and selection process will be dealt with by the relevant recruitment manager.

Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests

These complaints will be handled by a senior officer. In cases where we decide not to provide the information to you, the officer must consider advice from the information management and governance service. The officer will notify you of the outcome of our investigation within 20 working days of receipt of your complaint.

If we cannot respond in full within this timeframe, we will advise you why we need more time. Under legislation, we must respond fully within 40 working days from receipt of your complaint.

To make a complaint under the FOI appeal procedure, write to: Head of Democratic and Partnership Services, Town Hall, Crossley Street, Halifax, HX1 1UJ.

There is no further right of appeal to the council following this investigation. Within our response we will inform you of your right to take your complaint further if you remain dissatisfied. Our response will contain the contact details for the Information Commissioner. You have a further right of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights).

Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) requests

Under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, you can ask us to reconsider an information request. You can complain in writing no later than 40 working days after the date you think we have failed to comply with the EIR.

Write to: Head of Democratic and Partnership Services, Town Hall, Crossley Street, Halifax, HX1 1UJ.

These complaints will be handled by a senior officer. We have to consider your complaint and any supporting evidence produced by you and decide if we have complied with the EIR requirements.

The officer must consider advice from the information management and governance service. The officer will notify you of the outcome of our investigation as soon as possible and no later than 40 working days after receipt of your complaint.

There is no further right of appeal to the council following this investigation. Within our response we will inform you of your right to take your complaint further if you remain dissatisfied. Our response will contain the contact details for the Information Commissioner, detailed above. You have a further right of appeal to the First Tier Tribunal (Information Rights).

Data Protection (GDPR and DPA 2018)

In relation to individual rights' requests under the GDPR the council has 1 month in which to respond although this can be extended by a further 2 months if the request is complex or we have received a number of requests from the requester. Whilst there is no statutory requirement to investigate complaints about how the council has responded to a request, we are committed to trying to resolve all such complaints. Any such complaints will be handled by a senior officer and advice must be sought from the council's information management and governance service.

To complain about data protection: Contact the Council's Data Protection Officer.

All other data protection complaints about how the council has processed personal data or special category data, will be handled in accordance with the council's two stage policy and advice must be sought from the council's information management and governance service.

There is no further right of appeal to the council following this investigation. You are entitled to complain to the Information Commissioner if you consider that there has been an infringement of data protection legislation. Further details can be found on the Information Commissioner's website.

Companies or traders that provide goods and/or services

These complaints are handled by Trading Standards, who are part of the West Yorkshire Joint Services.

Vexatious complaints

A small number of people that complain can be too persistent or behave unacceptably in pursuing their complaints.

We have a policy to address situations where a complainant's behaviour is deemed to be vexatious.

Let us know

Please complete our online form to:

  • Send us a compliment.
  • Feedback about a service.
  • Make a complaint - please try to speak to the service your problem relates to in the first instance. If you are unhappy with their response, then we can investigate further.

Let us know

You can also:

  • Phone: 01422 288005.
  • Visit any Customer First in person.
  • Post to: Calderdale Council, Complaints and Compliments, FREEPOST RTGL-EXHR-SRLH, 19 Horton Street, Halifax, HX1 1QE

Ask the Ombudsman

If you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint or how we handled it, you can ask the Local Government Ombudsman to review your case.

They investigate complaints in a fair and independent way – they do not take sides. They will review your case free of charge

They will only deal with a complaint if it:

  • has been through our complaint’s procedure
  • happened less than 12 months ago
  • is not already being considered in court.

Annual reports

Every year, reports are given to Council Members to consider how we can do better. The Local Government Ombudsman also publish annual reports.

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