During the coronavirus pandemic, we are working to prioritise essential service delivery to our customers, particularly those who are most vulnerable. It is important that we protect both our customers and our employees, and this means that we may experience increased staff absence during this time. To help us manage the impact on our service delivery, we have made the decision to temporarily relax our complaints policy where it is needed, until further notice. This means that while we will make every effort to respond to your complaint within 10 working days, our staff may take up to 5 additional working days to respond to your complaint. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause, and we thank you for your understanding.
How Your Choice (Barnet) handles complaints
We know that things can occasionally go wrong. We welcome feedback as a valuable opportunity to learn from mistakes and make improvements for the future and on receiving a complaint, we expect our staff to listen and put things right quickly and informally.
Wherever possible, we aim to resolve matters informally. We are always keen to hear if something has gone wrong and how we can put it right, and we encourage our staff to put matters right at first point of contact without the need to enter the formal complaints process.
You can read our Complaints and Compliments Policy here: Complaints and Compliments Policy
If we cannot resolve your complaint when you first report it to us, we will log a formal Stage 1 complaint and send you an acknowledgement within two working days that will tell you who is dealing with your complaint and give you their contact details.
We always try to reply to complaints within 10 working days but if we need more time to investigate we will tell you why and how long it will take.
If you are unhappy with the response to your complaint at Stage 1, you should call or write to us and advise that you wish to escalate to Stage 2 of the complaints process.
A Complaints Officer will ask you the reason why you remain unhappy and what outcome you are looking for. You will need to provide further evidence to support your complaint for it to be considered for escalation and review. We will ensure your complaint is investigated by a more senior manager, and we will send you a response within 10 working days. If we need more time to investigate, we will tell you why and how long it will take.
Following completion of our process
If you are not satisfied with our response after Stage 2, or if we refuse your request to escalate the complaint following Stage 1, you have the right to approach the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
The Complaints and Information Team
Your Choice (Barnet)
2 Bristol Avenue
Telephone: 0800 389 5225
Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
Address: PO Box 4771, Coventry, CV4 0EH
Telephone: 0300 061 0614
Support in making a complaint
If you wish to find out about using an advocate to support you in making a complaint, or simply seek some independent advice, there are a number of organisations that can help you, including:
Advocacy in Barnet
The One Stop Shop, 4-5 The Concourse, Grahame Park, London NW9 5XB (Offices are open 9.30am – 4.00pm, Monday to Friday)
Telephone: 020 8201 3415 or 020 8201 3148
Citizen’s Advice Bureau
Telephone: 03444 111 444
Other ways to contact the CAB are detailed on their website: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/how-we-provide-advice/advice
If you are happy with the service you have received, and would like to give a compliment to an individual employee, team, or the organisation, please contact us. We welcome compliments as an opportunity to acknowledge when our employees have made a difference, and we use them to identify good practice and learning to improve our services.