Complaints Procedure

Introduction

The Trustees of Winsley’s Charity have updated their procedures for handling complaints from residents to reflect changes introduced by The Housing Ombudsman’s Complaints Handling Code that came into effect on 1st April 2024.

The Trustees and staff do their utmost to deal with issues as they arise we accept that, on occasion things do not always go as we would wish. In such circumstances we will seek to resolve problems as quickly as is reasonably possible. This Complaints Procedure sets out how we will seek to resolve those occasions when things do go wrong.

Definition of a complaint

The Code defines a complaint as:

An expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the organisation, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents.

The Trustees may not consider :

  • complaints about historic issues that occurred twelve months or more prior to their being bought to their attention or
  • where legal proceedings have been started or
  • matters that have previously been considered under their complaints policy.

Making a complaint

Complaints should, in the first instance, be made to the General Manager. They can be made verbally, in writing or by e-mail.

The Manager will keep a log of all complaints received.

Procedure, timelines & Responsiveness

Procedure

Stage One

The General Manager will acknowledge the complaint. In acknowledging the complaint she will confirm her understanding of the complaint and the outcome being sought by the resident.

The General Manager will seek to resolve the problem keeping the resident informed of the action being taken.

In the event that she is unable to remedy the complaint, she may refer the complaint to the Acting Trustee.

Stage Two

If the problem remains unresolved, the resident may request a meeting with the Acting Trustee, who will already be aware of the problem, will discuss the matter with the resident. If the above procedure does not arrive at an outcome which is acceptable to the resident, the Acting Trustee may refer the complaint to other trustees (Appeals Panel). Four Trustees shall be a quorum for this purpose and they will have access to all the documentation available

The resident may, if still dissatisfied, appeal to the Housing Ombudsman Service.

Timelines

We will seek to deal with all complaints in a timely manner and within the following timescale:

• Logging and acknowledgement of complaint – within five working days.
• Decision on action proposed to resolve the complaint – within ten working days of the complaint.
• In the case of an appeal to the Trustees – within 20 working days of the request to appeal

There may be occasions when the above timescales cannot be met. In these cases an explanation of the reasons for any delay will be given. In any event the delay will be limited to ten working days. The extension must be agreed by both parties.

Responsiveness

We will write to the resident detailing the outcome of the complaint with the reasons for their decision. The Trustees will set out the steps to be taken to remedy the problem and any outstanding actions.

Before finalising the decision, a resident will be offered the opportunity to make clear their position, the outcome they are seeking, and comment on any adverse findings before the final decision is made. The resident may bring along a representative should they wish to do so.

Our response will include how the resident can appeal at each stage if dissatisfied with the outcome.

Unacceptable behaviour

The Trustees and staff will not tolerate abusive or unacceptable behaviour towards their staff, contractors, volunteers, other residents or Trustees.

Continuous learning and improvement

The Trustees will review all complaints at their Bi-monthly Board Meetings noting the grounds for the complaint, what went wrong, the remedy, any outstanding issues and any changes to services proposed.

The Trustees will include a comment on their learning and improvement from complaints in their Annual Report.

Housing Ombudsman Service

In the event that the complaint still remains unresolved, the resident may apply to the Ombudsman under the Independent Housing Ombudsman Scheme.

The service can be contacted by post, telephone, e-mail or through their website:

Housing Ombudsman Service
PO Box 152
Liverpool
L33 7WQ

Tel: 0300 111 3000
E-Mail: info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk
Web site: www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk

When residents contact the Ombudsman they should state their full name and address, telephone number and e-mail address together with full details of their complaint.

Please contact the office should you require further details on our Complaints Procedure