Most care home residents in Wales live fulfilling, happy, productive lives as their care home enables them to pursue interests and hobbies, socialise with other residents and stay as independent as possible with the support of care staff.
Most care homes take pride in the standard of care they provide and ensures every resident needs and preferences are met. If a resident or family member of a loved one in a care home have any concerns at all, the care home wants to know so they can improve their service.
If you and the care home disagree or you have concerns regarding the service you or your loved one receives, you should always speak to someone about it. It’s your right to make a complaint about a care home if you feel like there is something wrong and receive a fair and swift response.
Firstly, try to speak to staff involved or the care home’s manager as most issues can be resolved this way as mistakes can happen. Below is a guide on complaining that you may find helpful if you are unsure about what to do if you need to complain.
For some people, making a complaint can feel like a big step. Always remember that the welfare of your loved one is the most important thing and if you have any concerns, you should not be afraid to make them known.
In Wales, every care home must have their own complaints procedure and should have this available for you, this will tell you what to do and who to talk to. There are several ways to make a complaint, you can talk to the relevant person face to face, make your complaint over the phone, or by email.
If your care is provided or funded by a local authority, complain directly to the authority or the company that delivers the service on behalf of the local authority. This could be in situations where you live in a care home run by the local council or receive home care services that are arranged and funded by a local authority. The local council will have their own complaints form which you can request.
The Care Inspectorate of Wales is the regulator of social care, they accept complaints – but are unable to investigate and resolve individual complaints or disputes between you and the care home.
You may have a complaint or issue with the standard of care being provided by a care home. But remember, unless the management are aware of your concerns, they are unable to fix things. Because of this, your first step should be to talk to them to find a solution. Doing this allows the care home to listen to your issues and fix the problem quickly to the best of their ability.
Generally, speaking to the manager resolves the problem and you won’t have to take your complaint about the care home further. Agreeing on a timescale is a good way to ensure you or your loved one’s concerns are heard and resolved.
If you think the care home has not upheld standards in relation to your loved ones mental welfare and according to the Mental Health Act, you should first talk to the care home about this. If you need support,or technical advice, then you can contact an Independent Mental Health Advocate or consultant. If the issue is not resolved, contact the Mental Health Inspectorate for Wales which will investigate the complaint. They’re responsible for safeguarding the rights of people with mental illnesses or other mental disorders.
When composing a complaint, always include as much detail as you can about the problem, who is involved, when it happened and what you think should be done. Try to keep accurate records, including notes from meetings and phone calls, as you can use them as evidence if required.
Your complaint should include
An outline of the problem and how it affects you or your family member
Names and roles of any care staff involved
When and where the issue was or if it is ongoing
What you’ve done to resolve the situation
What outcome you want from the complaint
Records and documents that strengthen your complaint
If you’re still unhappy after the care home or local authority has tried to resolve the issue, you can contact the Public Service Ombudsman for Wales.
The Ombudsman will investigate complaints about a wide range of issues, including
Self-funded care that includes, personal and nursing care services provided by a care home to an adult who pays for their own care.
Domiciliary care that includes, personal care provided in people’s homes, which they pay for themselves.
Independent palliative care services, that includes hospice and community palliative services if they have received public funding for at least three years before the incident or issue.
The Public service Ombudsman will also look into care services provided by public bodies, such as the NHS or your local council.