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Investigation

We will tell you who we have asked to look into your concern or complaint. 

  • If your concern is straightforward, we’ll usually ask somebody from the department to look into it and get back to you.

  • If it is more serious, we may use a partner or in certain cases we may appoint an independent investigator.

We will set out to you our understanding of your concerns and ask you to confirm that we've got it right.

We’ll also ask you to tell us what outcome you’re hoping for.

The person looking at your complaint will usually need to see the files we hold relevant to your complaint.

If you don’t want this to happen, it’s important that you tell us.

 

Stage 1 - Informal resolution

If there is a simple solution to your problem, we may ask you if you’re happy to accept this. For example, where you asked for a service and we see straight away that you should have had it; we will offer to provide the service rather than investigate and produce a report.

We aim to resolve a Stage 1 complaint within 10 working days.

 

Stage 2 - Formal internal investigation

If your complaint is more complex, we will:

  • let you know why we think it may take longer to investigate

  • tell you how long we expect it to take.

  • let you know where we have reached with the investigation, and  give you regular updates, including telling you whether any developments might change our original estimate.

We aim to resolve a Stage 2 complaint within 20 working days.

 

The person who is investigating your concerns will aim first to establish the facts. The extent of this investigation will depend on how complex and how serious the issues you have raised are. In complex cases, we will draw up an investigation plan.

In some instances, we may ask to meet you to discuss your concerns. Occasionally, we might suggest mediation or another method to try to resolve disputes. 

We’ll look at relevant evidence. This could include files, notes of conversations, letters, e-mails or whatever may be relevant to your particular concern. 

If necessary, we’ll talk to the staff or others involved and look at our policies and any legal entitlement and guidance.