You can complain to us by telephone, email, in writing or in person. If possible you should first raise your concerns with the person providing your service or their manager. We are pleased to hear from anyone who has comments or complaints about our services as these help us to plan and improve our services.
Tel: 0191 561 1078 (or 0191 520 5552 if you call outside of normal office hours).
Write: Complaint and Feedback Team, Civic Centre, Burdon Road, Sunderland, SR2 7DN
There is a single complaints procedure covering health services (the NHS) and adult social care services (provided by the council). This procedure can be used by or on behalf of any adult we have the power or duty to provide a service to. A complaint may come from a service user, parent, carer, friend of relative or anyone else we feel has a close enough interest in the case.
Full details on the statutory adults complaints procedure (pdf).
The first stage of this procedure is called the Local Resolution by the council.
When dealing with complaints under this procedure we will:
We will provide you, within the agreed timescale, with:
If you prefer you can contact other people if you are unhappy with the service, for example one of your local Councillors, your MP or a solicitor.
It's important to make a complaint within 12 months of the incident. Complaints reported after 12 months become difficult to investigate and we will only do so if there are special circumstances surrounding the delay.
You might want someone to help you to make your complaint. This person is called and advocate. An advocate does not investigate your complaint. There are a number of advocacy services available and the Complaints Manager can offer help in signposting you to advocacy services if you wish.
We recognise our responsibility as a commissioner of services to the public and we want to hear people's comments and feedback about the service they receive, whether it is positive or negative. The regulations effectively allow for the council to investigate complaints about services it has commissioned.
We do at times share information about complaints with other people to ensure and maintain provision of quality services. For example we may share information in respect of the complaint with:
And, when it is appropriate, the Care Quality Commission and Safeguarding Adults Team
If you fund your own social care and wish to complain about a service, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman may be able to help. It is a free service and the Ombudsman will investigate complaints in a fair and independent way.
In most cases the Ombudsman will only consider a complaint once the care provider has been given a reasonable opportunity to deal with the situation.
There is a separate complaints procedure for complaints about Safeguarding.