1. Introduction

All complaints will be scrutinised at an early stage to identify the level of complexity and significance they present. Complaint will then be categorised as low (green), medium (amber) or high (red). This categorisation will help to determine the means by which the complaint will be addressed. This should ensure consistency of approach to all complaints, in particular that we deal with each complaint in a way that is proportionate.

The factors taken into account in determining the category of each complaint will be:

  • The issues raised;
  • The complainant’s views about the issues and resolution;
  • Previous history (for example if there have been similar complaint issues from other service users, repeat complaint from same service user).

2. Green Complaints

These complaints will concern relatively minor issues that can be promptly and readily resolved or addressed through clarification or explanation by the team concerned. These complaints should have no significant implications for the service user or the service.

Examples include requiring clarification about part of a care plan, lack of information about who will undertake an assessment.

3. Amber Complaints

These complaints will be about more complex and / or significant issues. These complaint will require the intervention of a more senior manager or more detailed investigations into the background and circumstances of the complaint, before they can be resolved. They may involve issues that have implications for the service user or the service in terms of practice, procedure or service delivery.

Examples include delay in completing an assessment, disagreement with aspects of a care plan.

4. Red Complaints

These complaints will be the most serious and complex requiring a level of independence in their consideration and rigorous application of procedures to address them. These complaints will have significant implications for the service or the complainant in terms of practice, procedure or service delivery.

Examples include significant issues with quality and standards of care, excessive delay in completing assessment so that services are not in place when needed.

Appendix A: Assessment Flowchart

Click here to view Assessment Flowchart.