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Supporting People Complaints Procedure

1. Purpose of the procedure note

1.1 To clarify the roles and responsibilities of different partner agencies responsible for the delivery of Supporting People programme in Merton in relation to handling, investigations and processing of complaints.

1.2 It is not intended that this procedure deal with appeals against decisions made to commission or decommission particular services by the Commissioning Body.

2. Background

2.1 Housing related support services are provided under contract between the council and Support Providers. Each provider is required to have an accessible complaints policy and must support its Service Users to use the policy on request. The complaints policy will be assessed as part of the monitoring, review and accreditation process.

2.2 Supporting People will check the number and type of complaints made against each Provider through standard contract monitoring and review work.

2.3 Service Users who have a complaint to make must use their Provider’s complaint system, which will have a number of stages to ensure fairness. The robustness of any particular providers complaints policy will be assessed as part of the Quality Assessment Framework.

2.4 It is recognised that it may be worrying and/or stressful and/or confusing for a Service User to complain about the organisation and/or individual upon which they rely for support. Therefore complaints must be dealt with efficiently and in a professional manner:

  • It must be made clear to the complainant (Service User or Advocate) that their complaint(s) will not adversely affect the type or level of support, which he/she receives.
  • If a Service User wishes to make a complaint about an individual Support Worker, this must be made to the worker’s manager.
  • Is a Service User wishes to make a complaint about any other aspects of service delivery, this must be made according to the Provider’s complaints system.
  • If a Service User wishes to make a complaint about abuse, this may be done outside of the Provider’s complaints system and directly to Merton Supporting People.

3. Supporting People

3.1 Supporting People will become involved if:

  • The complaint relates to issues associated with abuse, or a gross contravention on the part of the provider, of the level of services that Merton Supporting People contracts.
  • That the nature of the complaint indicates that the SP funding being received by the organisation is not being used in the manner the organisation is contracted to do.
  • It finds, through contract monitoring and review, that the provider is:
    • Providing the contracted service, which gives rise to Service User complaints and/or,
    • The provider does not have a complaints policy and system or does not follow its complaints policy or fails to support its Service Users in making complaints.

3.2 If Merton Supporting People receive a complaint in relation to the circumstances outlined in 3.1 above, they will:

  • Obtain the Service User’s permission to receive all documents held by the Provider regarding the complaint.
  • Check the complaint has been dealt with according to the Provider’s policy.
  • Check the Supporting People Contract has been followed.
  • Check the service has been provided to best practice standards.
  • Carry out any necessary investigation, including interviews.
  • Advise the Provider and Service User of the investigation outcome in writing.
  • Advise Commissioning body.

4. The Housing Ombudsman Service

4.1 If the Service User’s Provider is a Registered Social Landlord, once its complaint system has been exhausted, the Service User may contact the Housing Ombudsman at any point for advice and support in resolving his/her complaint:

Housing Ombudsman
Norman House
105-109 Strand
London WC2 0AA

Tel: 020 7836 3630 or 0845 712 5973

4.2 However regardless of whether the Service User has contacted the Housing Ombudsman, she/he may still call upon Supporting People for the services noted below.

5. The Local Government Ombudsman

5.1 If the Service User’s Provider is not a Registered Social Landlord and the Commissioning Body’s adjudication, following appeal, does not resolve the complaint she/he may contact the Local Government Ombudsman relevant to Merton, for advice and support in resolving her/his complaint.

5.2 The LA Ombudsman can be contacted on Pre-complaint advice line: 0845 602 1983. Details of the relevant office will then be given in relation to the particular area.

6. Complaints about Supporting People

6.1 Complaints about the conduct of Supporting People members will be subject to the council’s complaints policy.

6.2 Details of this complaints policy can be obtained from Supporting People on request.

Contact us

London Borough of Merton
Supporting People
3rd Floor
Civic Centre
London Road
Morden SM4 5DX