You can appeal against a decision if you disagree with it. Examples of the sort of decision you can appeal against are:
- a decision that you do not appear to need an assessment.
- following a specialist or comprehensive assessment, a decision that you do not qualify for a service.
- if you think you need more services or different services from those which are proposed or being provided.
You can complain if you think the processes have not been followed properly or because the quality of your service is poor.
There are several ways of dealing with disputes ranging from the informal to the formal, by contacting a councillor, AM or MP to a judicial review or an appeal to the European Court.
If a complaint or a dispute with social services arises, you may use the local authority's complaints procedure where the following procedures apply:
- Anyone can make a complaint and can act on behalf of an individual.
- Complaints normally dealt with by an external provider may also be referred if the complainant is dissatisfied.
- The complaints process has three distinct stages. You may make your initial complaint at either stage 1 or 2.
Stage 1 Local Resolution
Most problems are best sorted out by the staff who are working with you. Contact the person in charge of your local services or contact the social services complaints officer who will speak to that person on your behalf. You can do this face to face, by telephone in writing or by e-mail. They will do their best to sort things out quickly. This should be no more than two weeks.
Stage 2 Formal Consideration
If not satisfied at Stage 1 you can process your complaint to Stage 2. Contact the social services complaints officer who will arrange for someone not involved providing your service to investigate your complaint. You have the right to expect a response from the council within 5 weeks. You may contact the complaints officer to make your initial complaint or after having spoken to the staff who work with you.
Stage 3 Independent Panel Hearing
if you remain unsatisfied at this stage you can ask for a review of how social services have dealt with your complaint by an independent panel.
You may ask for more detailed information about the complaints procedure first to help you decide whether you want to make a complaint.
Remember its your right to complain if you are not happy with the quality of the services you receive and it is social services duty to look into your complaint and try to resolve it.