Complaints

<  BACK

Hits Homes Trust Complaints/Compliments/Appeal Procedure

Click here to download the HITS HOMES TRUST FORMAL COMPLAINTS FORM

It is recognised that sometimes people who use Hits Homes Trust may feel unhappy
about the service and wish to register their dissatisfaction in the form of a complaint.

To maintain a good standard of service it is necessary to know when a service user
feels that they have not had the service they expected. Although it is not pleasant to
receive complaints they should be viewed in a positive light as reflecting peoples’
interest in and concern about the service. Where a complaint highlights a problem or
inadequacy it can be used as a starting point for improving the situation. In light of
this, Hits Homes Trust welcomes any complaints that would improve the service.

The procedure is intended to apply in a situation when an applicant or a tenant has
raised an issue which they feel has not been satisfactorily dealt with.

The procedure is intended to ensure that any problems or issues which an applicant
or tenant wishes to raise are dealt with quickly, effectively and fairly.

Who can access the Complaints Procedure

The procedure is accessible to all those who come into contact with the project. This
includes:

• Applicants to the project;
• Tenants at the project;
• Professionals associated with applicants or tenants;
• Family or friends associated with applicants or tenants; and
• Professionals who contact the project for other business.

Types of Complaints

The project can experience various types of complaints:

1) An instant everyday criticism not intended as a complaint but requiring
explanation if the person does not fully understand all the ins and outs of a practice
or decision. This will not usually be logged at it is simply an everyday conversation.
2) An informal complaint is where a person is dissatisfied with a decision
and would like to discuss the matter further. This complaint is logged in the
Complaints folder on the computer if it is against the project or in the tenant’s
computerised file if it is regarding a tenant. Information will be kept on the action
taken and the outcome. The complainant will be asked what they wish to happen,
whether their identity can be used. The complainant will be informed of the outcome
without contravening any confidential information.
3) Formal complaint is where a complainant might be making an informal
complaint but the staff member dealing with the matter may deem this to be a formal
complaint and should encourage the person to treat is as such and put it in writing.
The complainant might wish to make a formal complaint from the start and they
should be given guidance on how to follow the procedure.
4) Gross misconduct is where a person has become a victim of serious
misconduct. Hits Homes Trust will implement their protection policies, disciplinary
procedure or any other procedure that is necessary, including liaising with external
agencies.

Method of Complaints

• All applicants and new tenants are made aware of the complaints/appeal
procedure.

• A poster encouraging people to express their view is clearly on display in
the office with contact details.

• The Referral Handbook gives a guide on how to make a complaint.

• The Tenant’s Move in Pack has a copy of the complaints procedure and
form.

• Support Plan - tenants are encouraged to express their views on other
tenants, staff, and contractors, comments on improvements or development. This is
discussed as a team and fed back to the Management Committee and then the
tenants with an action plan on how to improve the service or an explanation why the
suggestion(s) is not appropriate.

• House Meetings - tenants are encouraged to participate in influencing
and having a contribution on the general behaviour of other tenants that may affect
them and on improving the service provided by Hits Homes Trust. This can also be
achieved through representation directly by tenants at Management Committee
Meetings.

• Exit Questionnaires offer an opportunity to be totally frank. This is
analysed on a quarterly basis and presented to the committee with recommendations
for improvement or an explanation on why the recommended is not suitable.

• The staff should try to be aware if a person is dissatisfied and encourage
them to attend a meeting where their grievance can be discussed and/or make them
aware of the complaints/appeal procedure.

• In most instances, it is hoped the staff have a positive relationship with
those who come in contact with the project and informal complaints can be dealt in
an informal way with records being kept

• A formal complaint is given in writing, by audio tape or by completing a
form. The formal complaints procedure will be implemented.

Independent Help

If the complainant feels they need assistance with a complaint there are various
agencies that can provide assistance or advocate on their behalf. These include, but
are not limited to:-

SHARP
Citizen’s Advice Bureau
Community Legal Advice Centre
Social Care and Health
Probation Service


The Complaints Procedures

Informal Complaints
Informal complaints can be made directly to any member of staff. However, to
ensure the matter is dealt with efficiently, it is advisable to make the complaint
directly to the Project Manager but Hits Homes Trust recognises the manager might
be absent and/or the complaint is about the manager.

The person receiving the complaint must deal with the complaint within five working
days. They should explain to the complainant that the matter would need to be
discussed with the Project Manager or the Management Committee if the complaint
is about the manager. If the tenant and/or worker feels that this would place them at
risk, the worker should report the complaint to the Chair or a member of the
committee if the chair is absent in order to decide on a course of action.

However, if feelings are this strong, the complainant should be encouraged to make a
formal complaint.

Formal Complaints

Stage One:
Discussion with the Project Manager

It is hoped that the complainant feels reasonably comfortable to address the
complaint to any member of staff.

Formally the complaint should be raised with the Project Manager. If the manager is
absent or the complaint is about the manager, the complaint should be raised with the
project workers by using a Complaints Form.

Upon receipt of a complaint, an appointment will be made to discuss the matter
within five working days.

The worker will make a decision within a further five working days. If there is no
action the decision will be explained in writing as to why no action will be taken or
what formal action has been taken.

If the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of the worker, the complainant
may make the complaint verbally or in writing directly to the chairperson of the
Management Committee.

The complainant may approach the Chairperson directly if the complaint is regarding
the staff team.

The Chairperson Contact details are:

David Brazier, c/o SHARP, 13 Welford Road, Leicester.
Tel: 0116 2546064

Stage two:
Discussion with the Chairperson

Upon receipt of a complaint, the chairperson will discuss the complaint with the
complainant within 21 days and will, in writing, inform the person concerned of the
decision within five working days of that meeting.

If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome they may send the complaint in
writing to the Management Committee marked for the attention of the:

Treasurer Private & Confidential.
Posted to 86 Evington Road, Leicester, LE2 1HH

Stage Three:
Discussion with the Management Committee

The treasurer will place this on the agenda for the next meeting and arrange with staff
and the chair to investigate the history.

The committee will invite the parties concerned to the next Management Committee
Meeting, held every six weeks, to represent their case. The committee will write to
the person concerned within five working days outlining their decision.

If the complainant is dissatisfied with the decision of the committee, they may
address their complaint directly to the head of the local Supporting People
Administrating Authority, which is:

Team Manager
Planning and Commissioning Team (Housing Related)
Leicester City Council
A Block, New Walk Centre
Welford Place
Leicester
LE1 6ZG
Tel: 0116 273 7026

If the complainant is still dissatisfied they may take their complaint to the Housing
Ombudsman.

Representation

At all stages, the complainant may be accompanied by a friend or advisor. If the
person can not find their own representative, Hits Homes Trust will endeavour to
assist to find an independent person. The friend or representative will not be able to
talk on the person’s behalf unless the person has medical reasons for not being able
to communicate.

NOTES

1) Hits Homes Trust is accountable to a number of organisations who, by
management agreement, facilitate the company to carry out it aims and objectives.
As part of their monitoring, the organisations collate information on complaints
received. Complaints received by Hits Homes Trust may be discussed with them so
they can be satisfied that we have adhered to best practice and Hits Homes Trust
Complaints/ Appeals Procedure.
2) If a tenant has been served with a notice to seek possession, any
complaints presented will not halt the process.
3) Making a complaint will not affect your right to the service or to be
treated fairly thereafter.

Outcome

If the complaint is upheld, reparation will be made, by one or more of the following:-
• A written apology;
• Staff disciplinary;
• Staff training;
• Reviewing policies and practices.

APPROVED BY THE MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE BY CONSULTATION
VIA EMAIL IN OCTOBER 2010

REVIEW DUE IN OCTOBER 2011

PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEW- PROJECT MANAGER