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Complaints Policy















Prime Nurture Services is an organisation committed to providing a nurturing and supportive environment in which children can thrive and grow.

Application of policy

This policy applies to all employees working in children’s homes within the organisation.

Policy Statement

Prime Nurture Services accepts that it is accountable to all children, young people, their families, parents and placing authorities for the quality of the services the organisation provides.  Accordingly, it respects the right of children, young people, and parents, as well as their families to make representations and complaints.

The formal and informal procedures set out below have been put in place to help children, young people, and others to complain should they wish to do so.  Prime Nurture Services expects managers and caregivers to deal professionally with all complaints in line with the procedures which include information about how to proceed if the complaint is about the manager of the home.   The company expressly forbids any attempt to prevent children, young people and their parents as well as families from making a complaint and any such action will be dealt with under the organisation’s disciplinary procedure.

Prime Nurture Services believes that wherever possible, complaints should be dealt with swiftly and informally.  It is usually far better for all concerned if dissatisfaction can be resolved as near to the point it arose as possible.

If a child, young person, parent or family member wishes to make a formal complaint however, or if they are not satisfied with the outcome of an investigation into their complaint using the Prime Nurture Services informal procedure, then they have the right to access the complaints procedure of their placing local authority. They also have the right to complain directly to the Regulating Body, Ofsted.

Information about how to complain is also included in the Information for Children and Young People’s Guide and Statement of Purpose.  Every child will be given a copy of the Guide upon arrival and the complaints procedure explained to them by their Keyworker.  Information about “How to Complain” will be provided to children, young people, their parents and families, particularly so in the period leading to review.

To ensure that Prime Nurture Service’s policy and procedure is effectively translated into practice, the organisation will provide all employees with regular training, starting at induction, to enable them to deal appropriately with complaints in accordance with the contents of the policy.

Prime Nurture Services also will monitor complaints and the outcomes of investigations into complaints to assure the satisfactory operation of its complaint’s procedure, to identify patterns of complaints and to ensure appropriate investigative action and recording takes place.  The Registered Manager will review the complaints record every month, including any feedback provided by the Regulation 44 Visitor.

The Registered Manager will compile for the Board of Directors a 6-monthly report listing all complaints, how they were handled and their outcomes as part of the organisation’s Quality Assurance Framework.

The Director of Operations is the organisation’s lead for the compliance and quality of our Complaints Policy and Procedure, and will conduct an annual audit to assure its quality.


Complaints can be made by:

  • Children and young people;

  • Parents and carers;

  • Social workers;

  • Placing authority;

  • Employees of the home;

  • Members of the public.

This policy will be provided on request to other agencies, professionals, relatives and friends, who wish to make a complaint on behalf of a child.

We welcome complaints, we learn from them and use them to improve what we do. We are always willing to listen and will do our best to resolve any concerns about the home or caregiving team, if we are unable to resolve the complaint, we will explain how to take the complaint further.

We will not discriminate or treat anyone any differently because they wish to complain.


If a child (or their family) is unhappy with the service provided; with individual care provided or with the attitude or behaviour of any employee; or for any other reason; the person receiving the information will take the following action:

  1. Check with the person that they feel comfortable speaking to them; or would they prefer someone else? If so, provide information regarding the availability of someone else, e.g. a senior, who is unrelated to the incident forming the basis for the complaint.
    We will ensure that no person who is the subject of a complaint takes any part in its consideration other than, if the Registered Manager considers it appropriate, at the informal resolution stage only;

  2. Record the information on our Complaints Form (COMP 1), read it back to the person to ensure they have accurately recorded what the person wishes to say. Record the name and contact details;

  3. The member of staff receiving the information should try to resolve the problem immediately if possible, e.g. provide information promised, and in accordance with child’s plan. The member of staff should ensure they record the action taken, and check and record that the person is satisfied with the outcome;

  4. If the problem is brought up by a young person, staff must ensure that it is appropriately recorded on the COMP 1 and reference made in the Daily Record, as well as any action taken and the satisfaction of the young person with the outcome.

If the problem cannot be resolved in a timely way (within 72 hours) or is a serious matter, then:

  • The employee should explain what happens next. The employee should give the complainant a summary of the Complaints Procedure and go through it with them

  • If the complainant speaks another language, employees should make every effort to get their name, address, telephone number and the language they speak;

  • In recording a complaint, employees should ask the complainant what the outcome is they are seeking. This may not always be possible to achieve, but it helps to clarify the nature of the complaint;


If the complaint relates to the Deputy Manager, the person receiving the complaint must contact immediately, the Registered Manager. In the case of a complaint against the Registered Manager, then the Responsible Individual or the Director of Operations, should be contacted immediately.


The Deputy Manager is the Responsible Manager for all Formal Complaints, unless the complaint is against the Deputy Manager, in which case the Registered Manager is the Responsible Manager. In the event of a complaint against the Registered Manager, then the Director of Operations is the Responsible Manager.

The Responsible Manager will follow the Stage 1 procedure.

Once the Responsible Manager receives a formal complaint they will:

  • Contact the complainant to record the details of the complaint and acknowledge the complaint in writing within 2 working days;

  • Notify by email the Registered Manager and Director of Operations – using COMP 2;

  • Review the complaint, seek additional information as required – including interview with the complainant, and attempt to resolve the problem, asking for procedural guidance from the Director of Operations, as necessary;

  • Send a draft of the response letter to the Director of Operations and amend draft as necessary based on advice – using COMP 3;

  • Provide a final written response to the complainant within 10 working days setting out the findings of the Stage 1 problem-solving process and proposed action to address any outstanding matters of the complaint;

  • Notify the Registered Manager and Director of Operations of any 'Learning' for the Service which have been identified as part of the complaint – using COMP 4;

  • Ensure the complaint is fully documented.

The complainant, if not satisfied, can progress the complaint to Stage 2 of the Complaints Procedure.


The complaint and stage 1 response will be investigated by the Registered Manager. The Registered Manager will respond to the complainant in writing within 25 working days, using COMP 5 outlining their findings, proposed action to address the complaint, and action to be taken by the complainant if they are unsatisfied, and the timescale for doing so.

Where it is not possible to complete the investigation within 25 working days, Stage 2 may be extended up to a maximum of 40 working days. All extensions should be agreed by the Managing Director. The Registered Manager will inform the complainant, in writing – using COMP 6, of the reasons for the delay and the adjusted date for completion, at the very earliest opportunity, and before the 25-working day due date.

If within 10 working days of the being informed of the outcome, the complainant is unsatisfied with the Registered Manager’s response, then they will ask that the matter is reviewed at Stage 3


Where the complainant is dissatisfied with the Stage 2 response, and informs the Director of Operations within 10 working days of being notified of the outcome, and wishes the matter to be considered further, then the Director of Operations will offer the complainant a Final Meeting to find a satisfactory outcome.

The Final Meeting should be convened within 10 working days of complainant’s request for further consideration. If an agreeable outcome is found, then the process will come to an end. However, if the complainant continues to be unsatisfied, then the Director of Operations will convene an Independent Panel within 20 working days of the Final Meeting.

The Panel will consist of three independent persons who do not work for Prime Nurture Services, usually consisting of two Regulation 44 Independent Visitors and a person with expertise by care-experience. The Panel will review the complaint and the organisation’s response.

The complainant is entitled to attend the meeting of the Panel and may be accompanied by a support person or advocate, this person will not be a solicitor, this is not a legal meeting and Prime Nurture Services will not be legally represented.

Within 5 working days, the Panel will inform the Managing Director of their findings and recommendation. The Managing Director will then send a written response, using COMP 7, to the complainant within 10 working days of receiving the Panel's recommendation. The response will state the outcome of the Panel, the organisation’s response to the Panel’s recommendations, the organisation’s final proposal for addressing the complaint, and the complainant’s remaining options.

After completing the proposed action, the outcome will be added to COMP 1, which is then sent to the Director of Operations, after which the complaint can then be considered closed


If any employee receives a complaint that relates to:

  • Injury to an Individual;

  • Violence or ill treatment;

  • Theft or defrauding an individual;

  • Serious neglect of an individual including neglect of their treatment;

  • Indecent or offensive behaviour by a member of staff;

  • Breaches of an individual’s confidentiality;

  • All types of discrimination; or

  • Any safeguarding matter

Then this should be brought to the immediate attention of the Registered Manager, or, if it concerns the Registered Manager, the Responsible Individual. In these instances, the Responsible Manager will determine the appropriate procedure, with all safeguarding matters being responded to in line with the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy


The Registered Manager will ensure that all staff are briefed, as part of the induction process, on the Complaints Policy & Procedures. The briefing will cover:

The Complaints Policy & procedure

  • What is a complaint.

  • How to respond to complaints.

  • How to learn from complaints

In addition to the above, the Deputy will be offered specific training in “How to investigate a complaint”.

Further briefing is provided in line with the company Learning & Development Strategy.


The Registered Manager reviews every month the records of complaints by children, or concerning the welfare of children, to check satisfactory operation of the complaint’s procedure, identify patterns, themes, or any learning contained therein and develop appropriate plans of remedial action.

The Registered Manager will complete a 6-monthly synopsis of “Learning from Complaints” and annual report of the same for the Board of Directors as part of the Quality Assurance Framework Report, and make it available to our Regulation 44 Visitor, Ofsted and upon request, placing authorities.


Help is available for anyone wanting to make a complaint.

We take complaints very seriously, especially those about children’s protection and welfare.

Your views and experiences of our service are important. We train our staff and expect them to take the right action at the right time. And so, if they fail to do so, we will act. Please be assured that, we will not discriminate or treat anyone differently because they wish to complain.

All our employees are trained to handle complaints sensitively and confidentially and will carefully write down what you say.

We will work with you to find a solution to your complaint within 72 hours in what we call the informal stage, but if the complaint cannot be resolved within 72 hours, or it is a serious matter, then it will be dealt with as a formal complaint, in what we call, Stage 1.

If a complaint is about the safety of a child, the Registered Manager will be told straight away, and the complaint may be considered under our Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy.

A complaint can be made to Ofsted at any time.

Stage 1

The Deputy Manager will look into the concerns raised and respond. If the complaint is about the Deputy or Registered Manager, then one of the Directors will deal with the complaint. The response will be made within 10 working days of receiving the complaint. The Deputy, or person looking into the complaint will want to speak with the person making the complaint and anyone else necessary to do a thorough job.

Depending on the nature of the complaint it may not be possible to do everything in 10 working days, in that case, the person dealing with the complaint will contact the complainant and explain what is happening and when it will be completed. When the work is done, the Deputy will write to the complainant telling them what they have found, how we will put things right and when. It will also tell the complainant what their options are if they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the outcome.

Stage 2

If the person who made the complaint is not satisfied with the Deputy’s response, they can ask that the complaint is investigated by the Registered Manager - this is called Stage 2. The Registered Manager will do so within 25 days. If the complaint is complicated, and if agreed by the Managing Director, the Registered Manager can take up to 40 days. The Registered Manager will explain to the person who made the complaint the reasons why there will be a delay, and tell them the date the investigation will finish and be told the outcome. As before, the Registered Manager may wish to speak with the complainant and anyone else to fully understand the problem, and how best to resolve it.

When the work is done, the Registered Manager will write to the complainant telling them what they have found, how we will put things right and when. It will also tell the complainant what their options are if they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the outcome

Stage 3

If within 20 days, the complainant is not satisfied with the Registered Manager’s response, they can ask that the complaint is reviewed by an Independent Panel - this is called, Stage 3.

Before convening a Panel, one of the Directors will offer the complainant a Final Meeting. This is a final opportunity to find a solution to the problem. The meeting will take place quickly, within 10 days, and it is hoped that we can find a solution that is satisfactory to everyone.

If a solution cannot be found, then within 20 days of the Final Meeting, one of the Directors will convene an Independent Panel. The complainant can attend if they wish and bring someone along to support them – not a solicitor, as the organisation’s solicitor will not be there.

The Panel will tell the Managing Director their recommendations in 5 working days. The Managing Director will then make a final decision and tell the complainant within 10 working days what the Panel has decided, what the organisation will now do, and what the complainant’s options are.

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