Trading standards law adviser website Business Companion explains the importance of correct complaints handling procedures (CHPs) for care homes.
Contrary to many jobs, working in the care sector has always been more of a calling than a calculated career choice. It requires deep personal reserves of patience, commitment and, of course, compassion. This has only been emphasized by the current coronavirus crisis, in which care home workers have emerged as heroes, providing essential frontline services under the most difficult and potentially dangerous of circumstances.
Those who operate or work in care homes have their work cut out for them even at the best of times though, and the challenges that arise in the course of a normal day (if there ever is such a thing) can keep even the most organised and conscientious carer fully occupied.
This is why the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in accordance with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have published a series of free information resources designed specifically for care home managers and their staff. This resource is available on the Business Companion website – the free government- backed website written by trading standards experts to help you understand the laws that affect your business.
The latest in the Business in Focus Care Home Guide series, Care home complaints, addresses the legal responsibilities of care homes in dealing with complaints from residents and their representatives, setting out in plain English the procedures that should be followed in order to resolve complaints as efficiently and amicably as possible.
Providing an overview of the key principles of good complaints handling, information about which aspects of consumer law are relevant to dealing with complaints, and guidance on staff training to ensure that everyone in your care home is aware of their responsibilities.
There is also a free downloadable guidance booklet which provides detailed information on correct complaints handling procedures (CHPs), complete with flowcharts to illustrate how real-world scenarios should be addressed.
CTSI Chief Executive Leon Livermore said: “Our authors have looked at much of the good work done by the many different bodies involved in adult social care over the past few years.
“It’s important that we all work together to improve the lives of people living in care home accommodation. This guidance has been designed to put residents at the heart of the care they receive, and to help them live fulfilling lives with dignity and respect.”
Having a robust and coherent CHP in place has many benefits. It gives managers and staff peace of mind that they are acting in accordance with the law when difficult situations do arise; it ensures that residents’ family members and representatives feel that they are being listened to and taken seriously when they do have a grievance; and, of course, it means residents themselves have a voice in circumstances under which it can be all too common for them to feel powerless.
Last but not least, having a CHP means more of your attention can be focused on the things that are really important right now: caring for some of the most vulnerable members of our society at a time they need it the most.