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 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. 

Our council complaints procedure has two stages:

Stage One (investigation and resolution) 

When we’ve received your complaint, we’ll contact you within three working days by telephone, email or letter. We’ll tell you how your complaint will be investigated and what happens next. 

We will then: 

  • talk to you about your complaint and find out what you want us to do about the problem
  • agree with you a timescale for dealing with it
  • allocate a person who is going to look into your complaint
  • write all of this down in a complaints resolution plan, for you to sign and keep a copy of
  • keep you updated on progress throughout your complaint
  • make sure that you get a full written response from the person who’s dealing with your complaint 

Stage Two (complaint review) 

If you’re not satisfied with how we’ve investigated your complaint, or with our response, you can ask us to look at it again.  

We’ll work with you to: 

  • find out what you’re unhappy with and about anything you feel has not been addressed by the investigation
  • write all of this down in a complaints resolution plan for you to sign and keep a copy of
  • pass the information onto a Service Director for them to decide if the council can do anything further to resolve your complaint. 

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.