The Lighthouse Hostel aims to provide its residents with a good quality service, but sometimes things go wrong. When they do, we want to know so that we can do something about it.
We treat all complaints seriously and aim to use them to help improve the service that we provide. If you ask, we will treat your complaint in the strictest confidence (i.e. sharing any information on a need to know basis only), but that may make it more difficult to investigate. (Please note that information about complaints made to the hostel will be shared with Supporting People- our funding body for auditing purposes, and Dr Harvey Graham Smith or his appointed deputy, in his absence.
Any issues regarding Child/Vulnerable Adult Abuse will also be shared with the relevant authorities, please see Safeguarding and Vulnerable Adults Policy for more information).
All complaints will be recorded and stored, as per Data Protection Act 1998. This information will be reviewed annually; the information gathered will be used as a tool for service improvement and development.
We aim to deal with all complaints promptly, thoroughly and fairly. We will let you know who is dealing with your problem and what we are doing or are going to do to resolve it.
- We cannot consider anonymous complaints.
- We never treat people who make a complaint less favourably in the future.
- Complaints are looked at as a positive tool to improve the service we provide.
WHO CAN COMPLAIN?
Anyone receiving a service from us or affected by our activities can make a complaint.
WHEN TO MAKE A COMPLAINT
Before you make a formal complaint, you should approach a support worker as they are usually best placed to resolve any problem that you may have quickly and effectively.
However, if you have done this and you are still dissatisfied, or it is not appropriate to speak with support staff, then you can use our complaints procedure.
In order to investigate complaints consistently, transparently and respond within a reasonable time, we have a set procedure. We can handle your complaint more effectively if you follow this procedure.
Our complaints procedure can only cover complaints which are directly related to the service that we provide; therefore, we cannot deal with complaints about issues outside our control. If you have issues unrelated to our service please speak to a support worker who, where possible, will advise you on how to resolve the issue.
HOW WILL COMPLAINTS BE RESOLVED?
When we investigate your complaint and decide on action to resolve it we will take any thoughts you have expressed about the outcome of the complaint into account.
HOW DO I MAKE A COMPLAINT?
Talk to a support worker who may be able to resolve the issue for you.
Simply complete the Complaint Form (located in the dining room alongside the complaints procedure)
Whilst we would prefer you to complete a complaint form yourself, you may receive assistance or a support worker will complete a form for you and ask you to sign it.
We will keep a record of all complaints and acknowledge them within 7 working days. All complaints will be investigated and responded to within 21 days. If the investigation will take longer you will be notified of when we expect to give you a full reply. You will be offered this information verbally and in writing.
If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint, or you feel that you cannot approach anyone within the hostel, you may refer the matter to the Living Rivers Trust via Dr Harvey Graham Smith. This should be done in writing and within 10 days of receiving the response at stage 2.
Your complaint will be acknowledged within 7 working days and you will be notified of when you should expect a full reply.
- In matters of extreme urgency the complaint will be processed quickly.
- At any stage of your complaint you may be accompanied by a friend either as support or as an advocate.
- There are no further internal stages for your complaint to be heard.
OTHER WAYS TO GET HELP
Independent advice is available from:
- Solicitors. A list of local solicitors can be found in the residents information pack.
· Citizens Advice Bureau
28 Mount Street
028 2564 4398
· Law Centre
124 Donegall Street
028 9024 4401
· Housing Advice N.I.
10-12 High Street,
028 9024 5640
You have a specific right to take complaints of discrimination against the Lighthouse Hostel to the County Court. Outcomes of complaints can be appealed. See the following flowchart for details on how to make an appeal.
· Talk to a support worker who may be able to resolve the issue for you.
· Complete an appeals form and give it to the Support Supervisor
· Your appeal will be acknowledged within 7 working days.
· All appeals will be investigated and responded to within 21 days. If the investigation will take longer you will be notified of when we expect to give you a full reply.
· Appeal hearing will take place (where necessary). You can bring a friend, family member or advocate to your hearing for support and advice.
· You will be notified of the response within 7 days.
· If you are unhappy with the response you can put an appeal in writing to:
The Lighthouse Management Board, 2-4 Railway Street, Ballymena, BT42 2AB