Why is your feedback important?
You can download a copy of our complaints procedure [192kb] which contains a copy of the information on this web page for your reference. You can also download the full version of our Council's Complaint Handling Procedure [534kb] for further information.
A comment might be some brief feedback about how we have handled a situation or delivered a service. It is often best to pass a comment straight to the service it relates to so that they can take any necessary action. You may be suggesting an improvement to what they do or a change to how they operate.
It is important for us to know when we are getting it right. If you have positive feedback about a service or staff member, it is useful for us to know.
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction about the council's action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf. For example:
Where possible, we try to resolve a complaint at the first point of contact. That means that the service you are complaining about will try to put things right first. So the first step is usually to speak to someone who has been involved with your enquiry or a manager in that service.
If you are unhappy with their response or if you do not want to complain directly to the service you can:
There are some matters that we cant deal with under the complaints handling procedure. For example, a complaint is not:
What happens next?
Our complaints procedure has two stages:
Stage one - frontline resolution
We will give you our decision at Stage 1 in five working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
If we can't resolve your complaint at this stage, we will explain why and tell you what you can do next. We might suggest that you take your complaint to Stage 2. You may choose to do this immediately or sometime after you get our initial decision.
Stage two - investigation
Stage 2 deals with two types of complaint: those that have not been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex and require detailed investigation.
When using Stage 2 we will:
If our investigation will take longer than 20 working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.
If your complaint is about Social Work Services and the service you receive from them, there is an additional stage in the complaints procedure which you are legally entitled to. This third stage, for Social Work service users, involves an independent 'Complaints Review Panel' reviewing the points of complaint that have not been fully upheld.
You will be provided with further details of this stage of the complaints procedure, including what it involves, in your Stage 2 response letter.
After we have fully investigated, if you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman to look at it.
The SPSO cannot normally look at:
You can contact the SPSO:
|In Person||By Post|
4 Melville Street
Freephone: 0800 377 7330
If your complaint relates to a care service we provide, you can choose whether to complain to us or complain to the Care Inspectorate. You can find out more about their complaints procedure, or make a complaint, by contacting them:
Telephone: 0845 600 9527
Fax: 01382 207 289
Online: Find out about making a complaint to the Care Commission
If you would like any help, support or advice regarding Dumfries and Galloway Council's complaints procedure, please do not hesitate to contact the Information Management and Complaints Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 030 33 33 3000.
Complaints about a police officer, member of police staff or special constable should be directed to Police Scotland's Professional Standards Department.
Complaints and Professional Standards Unit
Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary
Tel: 01387 242205 or send an email to CPSU@dg.pnn.police.uk
If you are not happy with the way the Police have handled your complaint you should contact the Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland
Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland
Hamilton Business Park
Freephone: 0808 178 5577
Fax: 01698 542 901
We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service. We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain for you.
Before we discuss your complaint with them we may ask that you complete a 'mandate' which is a form giving written permission for us to discuss your personal information with another person.
You may also be able to get free, confidential advice and support from:
You can find out about more information about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance:
Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance
Tel: 0131 260 5380 Fax: 0131 260 5381 Website: www.siaa.org.uk
We are committed to making our service easy to use for all members of the community. In line with our statutory equalities duties, we will always ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to help customers access and use our services. If you have trouble putting your complaint in writing, or want this information in another language or format, such as large font, or Braille, please tell us in person, contact the Information Management and Complaints Unit on 030 33 33 3000 or email us at email@example.com.
As well as trying to continuously improve the services we provide as a Council, we are also committed to improving how we gather and manage feedback. As part of this commitment, we work closely with the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to ensure that our complaints handling procedures remain in line with their standards and recommendations.
The way that public services handle complaints is currently under review by the SPSO and a programme of change is in progress. To learn more about the planned changes, please visit http://www.valuingcomplaints.org.uk.