Dear Mr Mc Morrow

Thank you for taking the time to contact us and for sharing your experience with us. I am sorry to hear of the events that you describe about your stay at Heathside Neurodisability Unit.

We are responsible for checking that every care provider that is registered with us meets important standards of quality and safety. However the legal duties we have been given by Parliament do not include dealing with complaints about these services.

Even though we cannot investigate individual complaints about health and social care services we welcome information such as yours as we can add this information to what we already know about the service. This will help us to make judgements and target our work.

If we find evidence that the provider has not met the requirements of the regulations, we will tell them what they have to do to put things right. In serious cases we may consider using our legal powers to make sure the matter is put right. If there is evidence of a problem that is putting people at risk we will investigate and take action where necessary. We have a wide range of enforcement powers and we have flexibility about how we use them.

If you are unhappy with the quality of care provided to you then you should contact the service in the first instance. The service providing the care should try to sort out your complaint and put things right for you. This is called local resolution. I note from your communication with us that you intend to make a complaint.

If following the local resolution stage you remain unhappy with the outcome of your complaint or the way it has been handled, there are two options you can consider depending on who pays for your care.

If your care has been paid for by Social Services then you have the right to use their complaints procedures. They are required by law to have a procedure for dealing with complaints about social care. You should contact the Complaints Manager at Social Services and ask them to deal with your complaint.

If you are unhappy with the way Social Services manage and respond to your complaint, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman. Their contact details are at the end of this email. If you tell them you are complaining about Social Services Department then they will provide you with advice and guidance about what you need to do next.

If you pay for the care yourself and you are unhappy with the way the provider has managed and responded to your complaint, you can also contact the Local Government Ombudsman directly.

Since 01 October 2010 the Local Government Ombudsman has become the second stage of the complaints procedure for people who pay for their own social care. They have a dedicated team for dealing with these issues and they will provide you with advice and guidance.

The Local Government Ombudsman has the power to investigate individual complaints where the Care Quality Commission has not.

You can contact the Local Government Ombudsman at:

The Local Government Ombudsman
P.O Box 4771

Telephone: 0300 061 0614 or 0845 602 1983
I hope the above information we have given to you is useful. The following is a link to our leaflet “How to complain about a health care or social care service” for your information. http://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/media/documents/20110912_complaints_providers.pdf

Yours sincerely

Malcolm Westbrook
Compliance Inspector
Care Quality Commission – London Region

Published by

Daniel McMorrow

40 Year old disabled geek,

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