You can complain about an agency or companies that provide services such as care for a friend or family member in a residential care home, or for care in an agency or company that has arranged for you to receive care through an agency or company. In fact, complaints should only be lodged within 12 months of your complaint occurring unless otherwise: you may have some other very good reason not to complain earlier, or have just discovered that you now have a valid reason to do so. Furthermore, if you do make any complaints, and they are not taken seriously, you may also be in breach of contract, or you may have breached the terms of your own contract or have been negligent in that respect. However, generally, if you make serious complaints, you should expect to be treated fairly and reasonably, in most instances.
The majority of people who do complain about care homes are able to report their concerns to the relevant authorities without the fear that they will be ignored, and sometimes even with the expectation that they will be listened to. The following is a short guide to how to complain about a care home.
* The first step to complaining about a care home is to firstly find out how long it’s been established. If you live in a state which does not allow complaints against care homes until more than two years have passed, or you live in a state where there are very few complaints then you may have a good chance of making a complaint. This may take a little time but if you follow a few steps you may be pleasantly surprised at the result.
* The next step to complain about a care home is to check whether your complaint can be upheld. In many cases it is not a good idea to make any complaints unless you can back them up, so in this case it’s advisable to get a solicitor to advise you of what to expect when lodging your complaint.
* Don’t ignore the first call you make to the care home and ask them questions. Often if they are unable to answer these questions then they are probably not going to be able to answer your concerns, and you may want to consider taking action yourself.
* Make sure that your complaints are clearly documented and accurate, if you have any complaints they need to be filed correctly, accurately and professionally, so that a proper review of those concerns is carried out as quickly as possible. Remember, a professional and thorough review can go a long way towards ensuring that complaints such as yours are dealt with properly and that the home is properly investigated.
* Finally, make sure that you take action when the home is unable to resolve your concerns properly. If your concerns are not addressed quickly enough, or your complaints are ignored, then you may want to look into getting a second opinion from someone else.
If you follow this advice then you may find that your concerns were well worth taking the time to raise. Remember, you will need to have all your concerns documented carefully so that your case can be thoroughly investigated. It may not always be necessary to take further action, but you should certainly not ignore these issues.
If you feel you have been a victim of neglect by your care home then you may be able to report it to the local Health and Safety Executive (HSE). This body is there to monitor and enforce health and safety standards, and they may be able to help you with your complaint.
There are other ways you can go about how to complain about a care home without going to the HSE. For instance, you could take the advice of a solicitor, who may be able to give you the best possible advice in relation to how to complain about a care home without going to the authorities. If you do have problems with the quality of the services that you receive at home then it may be a good idea to make a complaint to the provider and/or their local council.
* Be sure to make sure you are clear about your needs when filing the complaint. If they are not clear to you then you may be forced to do something that you would rather not. For example, many care homes will refuse to investigate whether the care you need will suit your requirements before it has been confirmed, and they may also refuse to change an existing agreement because you have asked for too much.