Listening & Learning Complaints Procedures

alan freeman made this Freedom of Information request to Welsh Government

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Welsh Government should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

From: alan freeman

8 July 2011

Dear Welsh Assembly Government/Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru,

What sanctions exist for investigators of stages 1, 2 & 3 who fail
to adhere to these guidelines.

Yours faithfully,

A Freeman

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From: Isaac, Jonathan (HSSDG - Social Services Strategy & Improvement)
Welsh Government

13 July 2011

Dear Correspondent

You have asked what sanctions exist for investigators of stages 1, 2 & 3
who fail to adhere to the Listening and Learning Complaints guidance.

Please find a response to your request below. If you feel this does not
address your question, please feel welcome to contact me directly and I
will do my best to help you.

Yours sincerely

Jonathan Isaac
Social Care Policy
Welsh Assembly Government

Response:

Stage 1:
Stage 1 is the opportunity for local resolution. The objective is for
problems to be resolved by the staff immediately concerned without a
formal and time-consuming investigation. Early resolution at this stage
is most likely to produce a good outcome for the person making the
complaint as well as for the staff. If stage 1 of the complaints
process is not carried out according to the satisfaction of the
complainant, the complainant is entitled to request formal consideration
of their complaint (stage 2 of the process).

Stage 2:
Stage 2 often takes place through a formal investigation followed by the
local authority's response. The investigator is appointed by the local
authority. However they must not be in direct line management of the
service or the person about whom the complaint has been made. Local
authorities often appoint an investigator who is not directly employed
by them. Whatever route is chosen, Local authorities are responsible
for the quality of formal investigations and if there are concerns, they
need to address these with the investigators.

Stage 3:
Stage 3 does not take the form of an investigation. Rather, it is a
review of the way in which complaints have been handled at stages 1 and
2. However, if the stage 3 panel concludes that the original
investigation (at stage 2) was so flawed that it cannot reach a
conclusion, it can refer the complaint back to the local authority to
carry out a new investigation. It will be good practice, where this
happens, for someone entirely new to the complaint to mount the fresh
investigation. The stage 3 panel may then need to meet again if the
second consideration fails to solve matters.

If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of stages 2 or 3 of
the complaints process, they are entitled to refer their complaint to
the Public Service Ombudsman, who can consider complaints and make
findings about the formal investigation or any other aspects of the way
in which the complaint has been handled.

Therefore to directly answer the question: "What sanctions exist for
investigators of stages 1, 2 & 3 who fail to adhere to these
guidelines?" Formal investigators are only used at stage 2. If fault
is found with their work, the sanctions available to the local
authorities that appoint the investigators are:
- To apply organisational performance management arrangements, if the
investigator is directly employed;
- To ask for further work to be done to remedy the fault or with hold
payment, in accordance with the contract that exists, if the
investigator is not directly employed. In addition, the local authority
could choose not to use the same investigator for future cases.

The Listening and Learning Guidance and associated documents, that came
into force on 1 April 2006, can be found at
http://wales.gov.uk/topics/health/social....

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From: alan freeman

15 July 2011

Dear Isaac, Jonathan (HSSDG - Social Services Strategy &
Improvement),
'what sanction
Mr Isaac,

Thank you for this response however it fails to answer the
question.

Perhaps it needs to be rephrased.

'in the event that someone complained about under the L&L
procedures does not comply with their obligations, or lies to the
investigator, what sanctions (punishment) exists once this failure
to comply, or lie, is found out.

Yours sincerely,

alan freeman

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From: alan freeman

15 July 2011

Dear Isaac, Jonathan (HSSDG - Social Services Strategy &
Improvement),

My apologies, i asked the wrong question. It shoul dhave been
directed at those complained about, or interviewed in accordance
with L&L guidelines.

Thank you for the additional information though.

Yours sincerely,

alan freeman

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From: Isaac, Jonathan (HSSDG - Social Services Strategy & Improvement)
Welsh Government

22 July 2011

Dear Mr Freeman

If a member of local authority staff is found to have not complied with
their obligations or to have been dishonest, it is for the local
authority as their employer to consider what action it should take.
This may involve taking disciplinary action or referring a member of
staff to a professional regulatory body, such as the Care Council for
Wales.

If such a finding is made by a stage 3 panel, the panel may recommend
that a local authority considers taking such action. However, while a
panel may make recommendations to an authority, it has no authority over
the organisation or the individual complained against. It is for the
local authority as employer to decide what action to take.

Yours sincerely

Jonathan Isaac
Social Care Policy
Welsh Assembly Government

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From: alan freeman

22 July 2011

Dear Isaac, Jonathan (HSSDG - Social Services Strategy &
Improvement),

Thank you for this, so what happens when a member of the stage 3
panel or their administrative support does a similar act? i.e. non
compliance, or acting misleadingly, or dishonestly?

Yours sincerely,

alan freeman

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From: alan freeman

10 August 2011

Dear Isaac, Jonathan (HSSDG - Social Services Strategy &
Improvement),

Your response is now overdue. By law, you should have made your
response by today. Please advise when this is likely to happen.

Yours sincerely,

alan freeman

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From: Isaac, Jonathan (DHSSC - Social Services Directorate)
Welsh Government

10 August 2011

Thank you for your message.
Diolch am eich neges.

I will be away from the office until Friday 12 August.
Ni fyddaf yn y swyddfa tan 12/8/11.

In the meantime, if you need assistance, please contact Lowri Lloyd-
Hughes on 029 2082 1497.

Os mae eich cwestiwn yn pwysig, ydych chi yn gallu ffonio Lowri Lloyd-
Hughes ar 029 2082 1497.

I will deal with my emails on my return.

Thank you

Jonathan Isaac

On leaving the Government Secure Intranet this email was certified virus
free. Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored
and/or recorded for legal purposes.
Wrth adael Mewnrwyd Ddiogel y Llywodraeth nid oedd unrhyw feirws yn
gysylltiedig a'r neges hon. Mae'n ddigon posibl y bydd unrhyw ohebiaeth
drwy'r GSi yn cael ei logio, ei monitro a/neu ei chofnodi yn awtomatig am
resymau cyfreithiol.

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From: Isaac, Jonathan (DHSSC - Social Services Directorate)
Welsh Government

12 August 2011

Dear Mr Freeman

Your latest query was received on 27 July. Therefore I am not aware
that a response was due by 10 August.

I am intending to respond to your request next week.

Yours sincerely

Jonathan Isaac

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Jennifer Brown left an annotation (10 January 2014)

Quote-marks Dear Mr Freeman

Yesterday I sent an annotation to Jim Devlin's request and today I realised your request was relevant to mine. My request is titled (Whistleblowing complaints in connection to the "Listening & Learning" guidelines) and Mr Devlin's is titled (NCOG Investigative best practice).

I wonder did you get any further with your request.

Are you still interested in finding out whether the "L&L" guideline have any use in improving the way Social Services complaints are handled and Local Authorities held to account? You may decide after reading these two requests the guidelines appear to be open to different interpretations.

Yours sincerely

Jennifer Brown

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