Concerns and Complaints Policy

Gwynedd Council

FOREWORD

Byw’n Iach Cyf. is committed to dealing effectively with any concerns or complaints you may have about our services. We aim to clarify any issues which you are unsure about. If possible, we will put right any mistakes we may have made. We will provide any service you are entitled to which we have failed to deliver.  If we got something wrong, we will apologise and where possible we will try to put things right. We also aim to learn from our mistakes and use the information we gain to improve our services.

When should this policy be used?

When you express your concerns or complaint to us, we will usually respond in the method explained below. Sometimes, you might be concerned about matters that are not decided by us and we will then advise you on how to make your concerns known.

This policy does not apply if the matter relates to a Freedom of Information or Data Protection issue. Under these circumstances, you should contact:

Managing Director, Byw’n Iach,
Castle Street
Caernarfon
LL55 1SE

or send an e-mail to: cyswllt@bywniach.cymru

Have you asked us yet?

If you are contacting us about our service for the first time (e.g. reporting a problem with one of our facilities or services) then this policy does not apply. You should first give us an opportunity to respond to your request. If you make a request for a service and then are not happy with our response, you will be able to make your concern known as we describe below.

Informal resolution

If possible, we believe it’s best to deal with things immediately rather than attempt to resolve them at a later date. If you have a concern, raise it with the person you are dealing with. He or she will attempt to resolve the matter for you there and then. If there are any lessons to learn from addressing your concern, the member of staff will draw them to the attention of his/her Manager. If the member of staff is unable to help, he/she will explain why and you can then ask for a formal investigation.

How to express a concern or complaint formally

You can express your concern in any of the ways below:

  • You can ask for a copy of our form from the person with whom you are already in contact.
  • Tell him/her that you want us to deal with your concern formally.
  • You can get in touch with our central complaints contact point on telephone number 01286 679202 if you want to make your complaint over the phone.
  • You can use the form on our website at www.bywniach.cymru
  • You can e-mail us at cyswllt@bywniach.cymru
  • You can write a letter to us at the following address:

Byw’n Iach Cyf.
Castle Street
Caernarfon
Gwynedd
LL55 1SE

We aim to have concern and complaint forms available at all of our centres. Copies of this policy and the complaint form are available in Welsh and English. For large print versions please contact the company at the above address.

Dealing with your concern

  • We will formally acknowledge your concern within five working days and let you know how we intend to deal with it.
  • We will ask you to tell us how you would prefer us to communicate with you and establish whether you have any particular requirements – for example, if you have a disability.
  • We will deal with your concern in an open and honest way.
  • We will ensure that you will not be at any disadvantage when dealing with us in future as a result of the fact that you have expressed a concern or made a complaint.

Normally, we will only be able to look at your concerns if you tell us about them within six months. This is because it’s better to investigate your concerns while the issues are still fresh in everyone’s mind.

Under exceptional circumstances, we may be able to look at concerns that are brought to our attention at a later date. However, you will have to give us strong reasons why you have not been able to bring it to our attention earlier and we will need to have sufficient information about the issue to allow us to consider it properly. (In any event, regardless of the circumstances, we will not consider any concerns about matters that took place more than three years ago).

If you are expressing a concern on behalf of someone else, we’ll need their agreement to you acting on their behalf.

Investigation

We will tell you who we have asked to look into your concern or complaint.

We will set out to you our understanding of your concerns and ask you to confirm that we have got it right.  We will also ask you to tell us what outcome you are hoping for.

If there is a simple solution to your problem, we may ask you if you are happy to accept this. For example, where you have asked for a service and we immediately see that you should have had it, we will offer to provide the service rather than investigate and produce a report.

We will aim to resolve concerns as quickly as possible and expect to deal with the vast majority within 20 working days. If your complaint is more complex, we will:

  • inform you within this time why we think it may take longer to investigate;
  • tell you how long we expect it to take;
  • inform you of where we have reached with the investigation, and give you regular updates, which includes telling you whether any developments might impact on our original estimated timescale.

The person who is investigating your concerns will aim first to establish the facts. The extent of this investigation will depend on how complex and serious the issues you have raised are. In complex cases, we will draw up an investigation plan. In some instances, we may ask to meet you to discuss your concerns. Occasionally, we might suggest mediation or another method to try to resolve disputes. We will examine relevant evidence. This could include files, notes of conversations, letters, e-mails or whatever may be relevant to your particular concern. If necessary, we’ll talk to the staff or others involved with the matter and look at our policies and any legal entitlement and guidance.

The Outcome

If we formally investigate your complaint, we will inform you of our findings in keeping with your preferred form of communication. This could be by letter or e-mail, for example. If necessary, we will produce a longer report. We will explain how and why we came to our conclusions.

If we find that we were at fault, we will tell you what happened, and why. We will show how the mistake affected you. If we find there is a fault in our systems or the way we do things, we will tell you what it is and how we plan to change things to prevent it from happening again. If we were at fault, we will always apologise.

Putting things Right

If we didn’t provide a service that you should have received, we will aim to provide it now if that is possible. If we failed to do something well, we will aim to put it right.

Learning lessons

We take your concerns and complaints seriously and try to learn from any mistakes we have made. Our management team considers a summary of all complaints regularly, as well as details of any serious complaints. Our Board also considers our response to complaints regularly.

Where there is a need for change, we will develop an action plan setting out what we will do, who will do it and by when we plan to do it. We will let you know when changes we have promised have been made.

What if I need help?

Our staff will aim to help you make your concerns known to us. If you need additional assistance, we will attempt to put you in touch with someone who can help.

You can also use this concerns and complaints policy if you are under the age of 18. If you need help, you can speak to someone on the Meic Helpline (tel. number 080880 23456, www.meiccymru.org ) or contact the Children’s Commissioner for Wales.  Contact Details:

Phone Number: 01492 523333

post@childcomwales.org.uk

North Wales Office,
Penrhos Manor,
Oak Drive,
Colwyn Bay,
LL29 7YW

What we expect from you.

In times of trouble or distress, some people may act out of character. There may have been upsetting or distressing circumstances leading up to a concern or a complaint. We do not view behaviour as unacceptable just because someone is forceful or determined. We believe that all complainants have the right to be heard, understood and respected.

However, we also consider that our staff have the same rights.  We, therefore, expect you to be polite and courteous in your dealings with us. We will not tolerate aggressive or abusive behaviour, unreasonable demands or unreasonable persistence. We have a separate policy in place to manage situations where we find that someone’s actions are unacceptable.

Contact our team today...

If you need more information about our facilities, membership packages or anything else that Byw'n Iach offers, please feel free to get in touch.

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