We welcome any compliments you have about the services we provide or about individual DCA staff who have helped you in your caring role.

Compliments can be made in any one of the following ways:

1. By phoning the office on 01773 833 833

2. By email -

3. By post to Derbyshire Carers Association, 3 Park Road, Ripley, DE5 3EF


Complaints policy and Procedure


The Policy

A complaint may be defined as ‘an expression of dissatisfaction however made, about actions taken or a lack of action’.

 DCA is committed to promoting the rights of users or their representatives, referrers, or other organisations, to question or comment on the quality and nature of the services provided by DCA, and where desired to challenge any decisions made.

 The procedure is designed to be user friendly and is not limited to Carers registered with Derbyshire Carers Association. Any person, including members of the public, may make a complaint about any provision of facilities or services that we provide

 DCA users, referrers and relevant statutory and voluntary organisations should be made aware of the Complaints Process, copies of which will be made available to any individual or organisation requesting same and is available on our Website.

 Informal Complaints

DCA recognises that on occasions complaints may be informal or “off the record” These include comments posted on face book or other social media outlets.

·                     These will be taken seriously and handled by the relevant DCA Manager.

·                     They will be handled through discussion (written or verbal) and will seek agreement and shared understanding of how to avoid problems in the future

·                     This approach should always be attempted before moving into the formal complaint process. Many issues can be resolved informally. 

·                     Informal complaints will also be recorded on the complaints register.

 Whilst informal complaints will differ from a formal complaint in the way they are processed  none the less they will be seen as part of the complaints  policy and must be reported to the Administration Manager or another member of the Senior Management Team.

 If a complainant is not satisfied with the approach or outcome then the formal complaint option is still available.

Formal Complaints – The procedure

 It is in everyone’s interest that concerns and complaints are resolved at the earliest possible stage. DCA takes concerns seriously and will make every effort to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.

Complainants should not approach individual Trustees to raise concerns or complaints. They have no power to act on an individual basis and it may also prevent them from considering complaints at the review/appeal stage of the procedure.

1.        A complaint can be made in person, in writing to 3 Park Road, Ripley, Derbyshire, DE5 3EF, by e-mail to or by telephone. It may also be made by a third party acting on behalf on a complainant, as long as they have appropriate consent from that person to do so.

2.        Complaints about the service should be made via the office through phone, email or in writing and should be to the Administration Manager or other relevant Senior Manager who will oversee the process.

3.        Complaints against DCA staff (except Senior Managers, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or Trustee Board members) should be made to the Administration Manager or other relevant Senior Manager concerned via the office through email or in writing. Please mark as Private and Confidential. The Senior Manager will oversee the process.

4.        Complaints that involve or are about a Senior Manager should be made in writing and addressed to the CEO. Please mark as Private and Confidential and to be Opened By Addressee Only. The CEO will oversee the process.

5.        Complaints that involve or are about the CEO or a Trustee should be addressed to the Chair of the Board or Vice Chair of the Board if the complaint is about the Chair of the Board.  Please mark as Private and Confidential and to be Opened By Addressee Only. The Chair of the Board or Vice Chair will oversee the process.

6.        Anonymous complaints will not normally be investigated. However, the CEO or Chair of the Board, if appropriate, will determine whether the complaint warrants an investigation.

7.      Complaints must be raised within three months of the incident or, where a series of associated incidents have occurred, within three months of the last of these incidents. DCA will consider complaints made outside of this time frame only if exceptional circumstances apply.

8.        Each stage in the procedure will focus on resolving the complaint in the most constructive and sympathetic way. If appropriate, we will acknowledge that the complaint is upheld in whole or in part. In addition, we may offer one or more of the following:

      an explanation;

      an admission that the situation could have been handled differently or better;

      an assurance that we will try to ensure the event complained of will not recur;

      an explanation of the steps that have been or will be taken to help ensure that it will not happen again and an indication of the timescales within which any changes will be made;

      an undertaking to review DCA policies in light of the complaint;

      an apology

9.        Acknowledgement of a complaint will be made within 3 days, and a full response made within 28 days or reason for delay given.

10.    The response will be addressed to the complainant and copied to any third party who may have been involved in the role of advocate or representative of the complainant. The Complainant will be:

·           informed of  the conclusion and reasons for any decisions in writing;

·           made aware of the rights of appeal process.

·           The response will state that if the complainant is not satisfied with the decision then they have 28 days in which to inform the Chair of the Board stating they would like the decision reviewed. At this point the Chair of the Board would set up a Review Panel.

The Review/ Appeal Panel

 The Chair of the Board will manage all aspects of the review/ appeal, make decisions about the panel`s composition and will issue appropriate instructions to DCA staff. Normally the panel will consist of three members - a Panel Chair (who will be a DCA Board member) supported by two DCA Senior Managers. In certain circumstances the Chair of the Board may decide to go outside the Association for other Panel members. 

The Chair of the Board will inform the complainant of the Panel composition and the date on which a decision will be available.

The Panel Chair will inform the complainant of the decision of the Panel which will then be reported to the DCA Board of Trustees.
Where the complaint had been made in confidence, confidentiality will be maintained through to completion of the process.

 Once this process is exhausted, there is no further recourse.

Reporting to the Board of Trustees

Complaints will be reported to the Board of Trustees at the completion of the process.


 All comments and complaints will be recorded together with actions taken, process followed, decisions made and outcomes where measurable.




Get the latest news and information for Carers – sign up to our newsletter

Newsletter Sign Up