Feedback and Complaints Policy (September 2022)

1: Introduction

The Carers Centre is committed to continually improving the quality of services and we consider feedback from carers who use our services to be an essential part of this. All feedback is welcomed, and we encourage carers to let us know about their experience of using our services, whether positive or negative, to help us to maintain and improve the quality of what we do. Complaints will be responded to in a timely way and thoroughly investigated. This policy applies to all aspects of the Carers Centre services and the purpose is:

  • to set out our approach to receiving and responding to all feedback including compliments
  • to let you know how you can make a complaint and what you can expect to happen if you do so
  • to explain how you can appeal if you are unhappy with the response you receive

2: Definitions

We use the following definitions for clarity to distinguish between a formal complaint and informal feedback as each will trigger different actions:

2.1: Complaint: A formal expression of dissatisfaction with any aspect of Carers Centre services from a carer or their representative. This will trigger an investigation overseen by the Chief Executive, and the complainant will receive a formal response. This will either be verbal or in writing, depending on the wishes of the person who made the complaint If you have a concern we would encourage you to discuss the matter informally with any member of staff in the first instance as it may easily be resolved straightaway.

2.2: Informal Feedback: Any feedback, comments or suggestions about services you wish to bring to our attention about how we deliver services. This may be shared during conversations with staff or volunteer or alternatively, you can share your views, comments and suggestions with us via the ‘Have your Say’ page on our website: Have Your Say | Sheffield Carers Centre Informal feedback includes compliments; it is good to hear about things that have gone well so we can feed this back to those concerned but compliments also help us focus on quality and help us know that carers are happy with the way we are doing things.

3: Formal Complaints

Procedure We always aim to operate to the highest standards, but we recognise that there may be times when carers who use the service may feel that this high standard has not been met. If you do have a complaint or feedback about our services, please let us know. Where your experience falls below the standard we expect, we will do all we can to put things right and prevent recurrence. It may be helpful to speak with any member of staff or a volunteer in the first instance.

All staff and volunteers are responsible for listening to what you tell us and taking appropriate actions. They will try to resolve your concern and address the issue you raise. If you are unsatisfied with the response, or wish to follow the formal complaints route, you can ask for your feedback to be dealt with as a formal complaint in line with this policy.

You may choose how you submit your complaint, and it does not have to be put in writing. You can contact us by phone on 0114 278 8942 or you can put your complaint in writing and send to the Chief Executive, Sheffield Carers Centre, Dearing House, Young Street, Sheffield S1 4UP or by emailing: [email protected]

You can make a formal written complaint at any time, but we will normally only investigate complaints about the Carers Centre’s current services, or incidents occurring in the six months prior to the date of the complaint. We will respond within a maximum of 5 working days to confirm that we have received your written complaint and to let you know what will happen next.

The Chief Executive will ensure your complaint is investigated and may ask the appropriate manager of the service concerned to lead this investigation. The manager may contact you during this time to ensure we fully understand the nature of your complaint.

The Chief Executive will respond either verbally or in writing as agreed with you, within 28 days. Complex investigations may take longer; for example if another organisation is involved, but we will always keep you informed if this is the case. The response will include information about the outcome of the investigation, whether your complaint has been fully or partially upheld and details of any further action to be taken to prevent recurrence when something has gone wrong.

3.1: What we need to know: In order to help us to effectively investigate your complaint, please set out the facts of what happened as clearly as possible. In particular telling us if possible: (a) Your name and contact details (b) what happened and when (c) names or roles of people involved if you know (d) What you believe went wrong (e) Anything in particular you would like us to do as we address your complaint.

3.2: Confidentiality and consent: If you make a formal complaint, we may need to review the information we hold about you if it is necessary for the investigation. This may include accessing your Charitylog record; this is the highly confidential database where we record details of your contact with the service. However, we will not record details of the complaint, or the outcome, on your Charitylog record.

If you are submitting a complaint on behalf of someone else, we will need that person’s consent to investigate and respond. Because we carry out some of our services on behalf of Sheffield City Council, for example carer assessments, there may be occasions where we will share anonymised details with Sheffield City Council’s complaints team.

We will always discuss with you any situation where we will be sharing identifiable information with the City Council, or any other external organisation, if relevant to your complaint or the investigation. If your feedback raises issues related to health and safety, safeguarding children and adults or criminal activity, the relevant Carers Centre procedures will be followed. In such cases, the law may require that your personal details are shared with external organisations, and this may override your right to confidentiality. Where appropriate we will always inform you if we need to do this.

3.3: Appeal process: If the complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, you can request a review, within 28 days of the Chief Executive’s response, by contacting: Chair of the Board of Trustees, Sheffield Carers Centre, Dearing House, Young Street, Sheffield S1 4UP.

You may also email the Chair via: [email protected] Note on the email subject line that it is for the attention of the Chair of the Board of Trustees and your email will be forwarded. The Chair will contact you within 5 working days to confirm that s/he has received your complaint. An investigation will be carried out by the Chair or Deputy Chair and one other Management Committee member, gathering information as widely and in as much detail as is practicable within the timescale. The Chair will confirm his/her decision in writing, together with the reasons for making it, and any relevant action within 28 days. This decision is final.

4: How do we monitor complaints and feedback?

All feedback received at the Carers Centre is recorded on a feedback log which is monitored by the Carer Services Manager to establish whether there are any trends or patterns we need to address. A report on anonymised complaints and feedback is received by the Carers Centre Quality Committee each quarter to provide assurance that we are responding appropriately and using feedback for service improvement. This Committee reports any such trends and service improvement in turn to the Board of Trustees.

Equality and Diversity Policy (September 2022)

Statement of intent

Sheffield Carers Centre is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and recognises that no employees, volunteers, members or carers who use our services should experience discrimination on ground of caring responsibilities, race, gender, religion, ethnic or national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, economic status or disability. The Carers Centre will actively seek to eliminate all forms of discrimination which hinder equality of opportunity and the valuing of diversity. This policy covers all areas of our work and activities, including the recruitment and selection of employees, volunteers and trustees, induction, conduct at work and disciplinary and grievance procedures.


Sheffield Carers Centre recognises that discrimination can take many forms. Direct discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably on the grounds of caring responsibilities, age, race, gender, ethnic or national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, economic status and political affiliation. Indirect discrimination can occur when criteria, policies or practices have the effect of disadvantaging some people because of their caring responsibilities, age, race, gender, ethnic or national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, economic status and political affiliation.

Implementing the policy: Service Delivery

All employees, volunteers and trustees have responsibility for ensuring that the day to day working practices reflect Sheffield Carers Centre’s commitment to non-discrimination. Sheffield Carers Centre will aim to provide welcoming and non-discriminatory services and to promote equality of access to its services by:

  • Ensuring publicity and information material is provided in appropriate styles, languages and wherever possible working with carers and organisations to agree appropriate media for information and promotion of services
  • Monitoring activity to identify any areas of potential discrimination with the intention of taking appropriate action.
  • Working with organisations who work with black and minority ethnic community groups and disability groups
  • Providing training in equal opportunities for staff, volunteers and trustees
  • Challenging misinformed, negative or offensive remarks about individuals or groups in a constructive way in order to deliver services, which treat individuals and groups with respect
  • Ensuring as far as reasonably practicable that our premises, and any premises we use outside the Centre, are fully accessible to people with disabilities
  • Organising events and meetings which allow carers to be able to attend considering the time of day, the need for transport, interpreters etc.

Implementing the policy: Employment

Sheffield Carers Centre recognises that implementing Equal Opportunities procedures in the way it recruits and select staff, volunteers and trustees is a vital step to eliminating discrimination. Sheffield Carers Centre is committed to making every effort to reflect the diversity of communities within which it works through its staff, volunteers and trustees.

The Carers Centre is committed to rejecting unlawful practice in implementing policies designed to promote equal opportunities in its employment practice. This is reflected in the following policies and procedures:

  • Recruitment and selection
  • Grievance and disciplinary
  • Staff and volunteer code of conduct
  • Bullying and harassment policy

Interview panel members will either have prior training in or experience of equal opportunities recruitment and selection or will be given an introduction to and explanation of the procedures, which will be regularly reviewed to ensure non-discrimination and best practice. Adopted by the Management Committee, Jan 2013

Inclusivity Policy Statement (September 2022)

At Sheffield Carers Centre we are committed to diversity and equality of opportunity. We aim to reflect this in everything we do: our vision, mission and values, our work with carers and other organisations.

Sheffield Carers Centre is committed to reaching out to, engaging with and involving carers from all sections of the population in all aspects of its work. This includes the provision of services and support, volunteering, carer engagement, staff recruitment and governance.

Our person-centred approach recognises that every carer is different. No carer who uses our service will experience discrimination because of their gender, religion, ethnic or national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation, economic status, disability or caring situation.