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Derbyshire Carers Association aims to provide a high-quality, responsive, user-led service. In order to ensure we do so we need to take account of the views and wishes of those we are here to help. We welcome every opportunity to monitor and improve our service and having a Feedback policy and a clear procedure for resolving complaints is one way of doing this.

Feedback, both positive and negative is valuable, welcome and important and when such is received, either verbally or in writing, recipients will pass either the original or a copy (for example a staff member may wish to display a thank you card in their own office)to Head Office where they will be recorded and reported to the Trustee Board.

User Feedback enables Derbyshire Carers Association to:

• Monitor if our service is being provided to our users’ satisfaction and to make improvements
• Provide feedback to our staff
• Influence our organisational and service development
• Inform our quality assurance programme

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 Policy is designed to be user friendly and to reflect DCA’s commitment to issues of equal opportunities.

DCA users, referrers and relevant statutory and voluntary organisations should be made aware of the Feedback policy, copies of which will be made available to any individual or organisation requesting same.


Process for Feedback excluding Complaints

Compliments are copied to any relevant staff and filed in the Compliments Folder.

Feedback which is neither a compliment nor a complaint is passed to the most appropriate manager who will consider the information and act accordingly, including replying to the sender of the feedback.

Process for Complaints

DCA aims to provide satisfaction in resolving complaints and to do this as speedily as possible and as close to the source as is acceptable and appropriate.

DCA will arrange to meet with complainants when complaints are complicated and of a serious nature.

There are three possible stages:-

1. Informal, which can be verbal
2. Formal, which may involve verbal and/or written complaints.
3. Review or Appeal Panel.

1. Informal Stage

All complaints received will be notified to management and be recorded in a complaints file, acknowledged and the complainant kept informed at all stages.

If the complaint involves a member of staff (even if the complaint is not about that staff member) the matter is discussed between the staff member and management and a letter of explanation giving appropriate answers, (which may relate to some change of practice or otherwise or reason for delay in answering) sent to the complainant from management. This procedure is carried out within ten working days wherever possible.

2. Formal Stage

Complainants can also choose to submit the complaint in writing, in the first instance. In this case the procedure is the same as for an informal complaint where the complainant is not satisfied with the explanation given or decision made.

Complainants should write directly to a member of the management, or if preferred to the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Letters of this nature should be marked private and confidential and will be passed to the appropriate person unopened.

Acknowledgement of the complaint will be made immediately and a full response made within 28 days or reason for delay given.

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.

Any response given 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 Association stating they would like the decision reviewed. At this point the Chair would set up a Review Panel.

3. Review Panel

The Review Panel consists of a Chairperson, Association Manager, (unless the complaint is about DCA management) and other Board Member. In certain circumstances the Chair may decide to go outside the Association for other Panel members.

The Chair of the Review Panel (this may not be DCA Chairperson) will then inform the complainant (in the same manner as in the Formal Stage) of the decision of the Panel. This will then be reported to the Board of Trustees. (The decision of the Review Panel is final).

Reporting to the Board of Trustees

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


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