Complaints and Concerns Policy

This policy will define the actions Amica Care’s services are to take for all Complaints 
and/or Concerns raised.


People who use Amica Care’s services are sure that their comments, concerns, and complaints will be listened to and acted upon, without prejudice. There is a well-publicised and effective system for addressing any complaints that may be raised by either people using the service themselves or those acting on their behalf. 


Amica Care will ensure:

  • People using our services and their families know how to raise a complaint. 
  • That all concerns/complaints are fully investigated and resolved within 28 days. 
  • The information collated from concerns/complaints will be used to identify noncompliance or any risk of non-conformance with the regulations and to inform 
    education and improvement strategies.


1. Any Concerns/complaints within our services in the first instance should be addressed to the Home Manager/Deputy Manager or the Senior Person in charge of the shift. For our Independent living sites any concerns/complaints should be addressed to the Independent Living Manager.
Should the complaint not be resolved at this level, the Operations Manager should be contacted for our care homes and the managing agent for our Independent Living Sites, if appropriate to discuss the issue further. 

2. Following receipt of a written complaint, this will be acknowledged by the Home  Manager/Deputy Manager/Independent Living Manager within two working days Complaints and Concerns Policy using the ‘Complaints Holding Letter’ The Trust aims to investigate and resolve all complaints within twenty-eight days.

3. There are also further sources of help for complainants to refer to, should they feel their complaint has not been resolved by the Homes Manager:

Operations Manager
Mandy Waldron
Amica Care 
Gatchell House
Gatchell Oaks
T: 01823 270694

Operations Director
Kerry Hunt
Amica Care 
Gatchell House
Gatchell Oaks
T: 01823 270694

Quality Commission

National Correspondence
Citygate, Gallowgate
Newcastle upon Tyne
T: 03000 616 161

Local Government
& Social Care Ombudsman

T: 03000 610 614

WEB address:

For Independent Living Sites please contact:
Alpha Housing:
Property Ombudsman: 

4. The complaint, whether verbal or written, must be investigated and managed by the Home Manager/Independent Living Manager, dependent on the seriousness of its nature e.g. if a safeguarding issue the Safeguarding Policy must also be followed. A decision should be made within two working days who will lead in the investigation of the complaint and a strategy for the investigation agreed. The person managing the complaint should inform the complainant in writing of the outcome of the investigation within twenty-eight days, detailing any action that is to be taken. If the outcome of the investigation takes longer than 28 days due to unforeseen circumstances, then the complainant will be informed. 

  • If the Complainant is unhappy with outcome of the investigation, the matter should be referred on to the Operations Manager/Operations Director or the Care Quality Commission as appropriate.

5. The Home Manager/Independent Living Manager is responsible for completing all records relating to the complaint using Amica Care's ‘Complaints Record (verbal and written)’ form and ‘Complaints Log’ to monitor the investigation and resolution of the complaint. All verbal and written complaints must be recorded.

6. All relevant staff, multidisciplinary team members and people using the service if able and appropriate should be interviewed and these interviews documented with the agreed permission of the interviewees. Relevant equipment/facilities should also be examined and put ‘out of use’ if there is any concern over their safe operation. Conscientious, contemporaneous and accurate records need to be made at all stages of the investigation to enable a report in response to the complaint to be written. These records may need to be referred to at any point.

7. If due to the complexity of the complaint or key personnel not being available it is likely that a response will not be prepared and issued within twenty-eight days, then all relevant parties should be kept informed by letter as to the likely timescale of response by the responsible manager.

8. The complaint response letter should be agreed by the respective line manager and a meeting with the Complainant offered to discuss Amica Care's response. The Complainant may sign the ‘Complaints Record (written and verbal)’ form to document that the complaint has or has not been resolved to their satisfaction.

9. Any corrective action as a consequence of the complaint should be taken as soon as possible and certainly within the agreed timescale with the Complainant and documented on the ‘Complaints Record (written and verbal) form.

10. If the Complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation and the proposed action to be taken after the Operations Manager has agreed the outcome, then the complainant should be advised to contact the Local Government & Social care Ombudsman (contact details above). This is reflected on the ‘Complaints Outcome’ letter.

11. The Operations Manager requires notification of all written complaints using the Amica Care's ‘Complaints Monitoring Form’. For our care homes, this must be completed by the Home Manager on the Ops reports weekly and at the end of every month on the Monthly Risk Report (MRR).
For our Independent Living sites, the Independent Living Manager must notify their line manager immediately of any complaints, record on the daily report form and the complaints log.

Unreasonable Complaint Behaviour:

We understand that making a complaint can be an emotive and worrying experience. People who use Amica Care's services can be sure that their comments, concerns and complaints will be listened to and acted upon, without prejudice.

However, in a minority of cases people pursue their complaints in a way that is unreasonable. They may behave unacceptably or be unreasonably persistent in their contact and with the submission of information. This can impede investigating their complaint and can have significant resource issues.

Unreasonable and unreasonably persistent complainants are those complainants who, because of the nature or frequency of their contact with us, hinder our consideration of their, or other people’s, complaints. Persistent complainants are distinguished from unreasonably persistent complainants. We understand that many complainants will be keen to understand how an investigation is progressing, especially when it concerns a loved one.

Examples of unreasonable actions or behaviours may include:

  • Refusing to specify the grounds of a complaint, despite offers of help.
  • Refusing to cooperate with the investigation process.
  • Refusing to accept that certain issues are not within the scope of the feedback procedure.
  • Insisting on the complaint being dealt with in ways which are incompatible with the adopted feedback procedure or with good practice.
  • Making unjustified complaints about team members who are trying to deal with the issues and seeking to have them replaced.
  • Changing the basis of the complaint as the investigation proceeds.
  • Denying or changing statements made at an earlier stage.
  • Introducing trivial or irrelevant new information at a later stage.
  • Raising many detailed but unimportant questions, and insisting they are all answered.
  • Submitting falsified documents from themselves or others.
  • Pursuing parallel complaints on the same issue with various organisations.
  • Making excessive demands on the time and resources of team members with lengthy phone calls, emails, or detailed letters every few days, and expecting immediate responses.
  • Submitting repeat complaints with minor additions/variations the complainant insists make these 'new' complaints.
  • Refusing to accept the decision; repeatedly arguing points with no new evidence.
  • Harassment, bullying, aggression or being personally abusive on more than one occasion towards team members dealing with their complaint or their families or associates. Team members recognise that complainants may sometimes act out of character at times of stress, anxiety or distress and will make reasonable allowances for this.
  • Threatening and physical violence towards team members, their families or associates. This, in itself, will cause personal contact with a complainant or their representatives to be discontinued and the complaint will, thereafter, only be contacted through written communication

Actions which can be taken in response to unreasonable complaint behaviour

Before any repose to behaviour is taken home management will discuss with the Operations Manager in the first instance.
The following actions may be considered in response to unreasonable complaint behaviour and put into place:

  • Offering a complainant, the opportunity to meet with a Senior team member and the investigating officer to explore the scope for a resolution of the complaint and explain why their current behaviour is seen as unreasonable.
  • Sharing our policy with a complainant and warning them that restrictive actions may need to be applied if their behaviour continues.
  • Helping the complainant to find a suitable independent advocate, especially if the complainant has different needs.
  • If an investigation is still ongoing, and as a last resort, it may be necessary to restrict a complainant’s access to the investigating officer or other team members. This could take the form of placing limits on the number/duration of contacts, limiting the complainant to one medium of contact, requiring the complainant to liaise with one specified team member or refusing to investigate further complaints about the same issue(s). whereby a number of family members are involved we may request that one member of the family communicate only with the investigating manager. Taking action such as this, would not be done so lightly.
  • If our investigation into the complaint has ended and we have suggested that no further action can be taken or any further lessons learned a complainant will be referred to the relevant Ombudsman, we may end all further communication with the complainant. In these circumstances, we will tell the complainant that future correspondence will be read and placed on the file but not acknowledged, unless it contains new, material information.

We have an open and transparent approach to all learning incidents and as a result, unresolved complaints will be reported to the necessary governing bodies where appropriate such as the local authority, Safeguarding teams and the Care Quality Commission.

Document Date: 01 April 2024
Approved By: Operations Director
Date Approved: 01 April 2024
Review Date: 31 March 2025