Dealing with your complaint

We know that sometimes things can go wrong.  If you’re unhappy with a service, or about a decision, you can make a complaint.

Talking it over first 

It’s usually better to raise your concerns with the service involved before you use our complaints procedure, this includes those organisations that are providing a service on behalf of the council.  Often an issue can be sorted out by talking to an officer, a manager or another person in the service.  

If you’ve tried this and are still unhappy, or you want us to look into the problem and write to you with a response, please contact us to make a complaint

What happens when you make a complaint 

Our Customer Feedback and Improvement Team will contact you about your complaint. They'll work with you to try to sort the problem out quickly and find a solution that you’re happy with. If we are able to sort out the problem quickly and resolve your concern we will still record your contact as a complaint but say that we have resolved it early without any formal investigation – we call this early resolution.

If your complaint is about the safety of a vulnerable adult or a child, we’ll pass the information onto our adults’ or children’s social care teams. 

Sometimes we may need to talk to other organisations about your complaint, such as the NHS, or organisations we work with to deliver your services, like residential homes or care providers.  Where this is the case, we'll always seek your consent to share your information with them.

If you’re complaining on behalf of somebody else, we may not be able to provide you with the details of any action we’ve taken. We may need to ask the person if they're happy for you to do this and for us to share their information with you.

We have a different procedure for dealing with children’s social care complaints that you can read about here. 

If we cannot resolve your complaint quickly through early resolution a formal investigation will be undertaken.

What happens if I'm not happy with the council's response to me?

If you aren’t happy with how we’ve dealt with your complaint, you have the right to ask the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to look into the matter for you. 

Read more about what the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman will do and how to get in touch with them.  

Adult social care complaints 

We use the same procedure for investigating complaints about adult social care services. 

If you’re arranging and paying for your own care services, you should complain directly to the organisation providing your care. if you're not happy about the way they respond to your complaint, you can contact the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

You can also share your complaint with the Care Quality Commission.  

Help to make a complaint 

You can ask a family member or a friend to make a complaint on your behalf.  We’ll need your permission for us to deal with another person, before we accept your complaint.  

Please tell us if you need any other support to make a complaint.  We can tell you about the advocacy services provided by local organisations to help you to have your say. 

Dial Barnsley provide support to customers who wish to make a complaint about adult and children social care services.  

If you prefer, you can contact another organisation that offers advocacy support. Please ask us for details.