Decision details

Review of the Complaints Process

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


Cabinet is asked to agree changes to the complaints process


Cabinet agreed to the recommendations


1.     We will review and bring together all relevant policies into one easy to understand document, this will include statutory complaints, corporate complaints, data complaints and housing.

2.     We will have a clear and concise policy (up to 6 pages) that identifies the legislation covered, the objectives of the policy and the difference between a statutory and corporate complaint.

3.     We will have appendices for the definition and procedure for each area (statutory complaints, corporate complaints (including housing complaints), data complaints and Member enquiries.

4.     We will provide clear and consistent definitions for complaints, general enquiries and service requests within this policy.

5.     We will consider an informal complaint stage for those who would like to raise concerns without lodging a formal complaint.

6.     We will review and reduce the current 3 stage process, striving for a right first time, 1 stage policy where applicable (noting some statutory processes will not allow this).

7.     We will review and adjust the response timeframe to support a right first time approach, likely to be 20 working days. This gives the officers enough time to conduct a full investigation, with a view that this will then mean they will not develop into an ombudsman complaint.

8.     We will ensure that data is used and analysed more effectively. A performance report is produced on a bi-monthly basis and that a quarterly report is taken to Overview and Scrutiny sub-committee.

9.     Senior Officers will be accountable for complaints with Assistant Directors/ Heads of Service conducting spot checks which will enable them to make changes to improve services.

10. Service improvements, lessons learnt and trends in activity will be provided to Senior Leaders in order to feed in to strategic improvement plans. This will be further supported by lead members who will be able to consider repeat service issues and whether changes to current polices are required.

Report author: Caroline Little

Publication date: 21/03/2023

Date of decision: 08/03/2023

Decided at meeting: 08/03/2023 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents: