Deciding your complaint
We will make one of the following decisions on your complaint:
- We cannot or will not investigate your complaint
- We uphold your complaint and recommend how the organisation should put things right
- We uphold only part of your complaint
- We uphold your complaint but do not make any recommendations because the organisation has put things right by the time we decided your complaint
- We uphold your complaint but do not make any recommendations because we consider the fault didn’t have a significant effect on you
- We do not uphold your complaint
Putting things right - what we can and cannot do
If we decide to investigate your complaint and find the organisation at fault, we will decide if the fault has caused injustice. If it has, we will recommend what the organisation should do to put things right. Our recommendations aim to put you back in the position you would have been if the fault had not happened. We do not 'punish' organisations with our recommendations.
Some of the things we can ask organisations to do are:
- apologise to you
- provide a service you should have had
- make a decision it should have done before
- reconsider a decision it did not take properly
- improve its procedures so similar problems do not happen again
- make a payment
Some of things we cannot ask organisations to do are:
- fire or take disciplinary action against someone
- pay you compensation in the way courts and tribunals can
- cancel or change a decision that it made following the right process and considering relevant information
- replace an organisation’s decisions with our own, like an appeal body might
We do not have legal powers to force organisations we investigate to follow our recommendations, but they almost always do.
Publishing your decision
We publish all decisions six weeks after the date of the decision, unless we decide it is not in your best interests to do so.
Public interest reports
In a small number of investigations we find issues that other councils and care providers could learn from, or the public should know about. For these we will produce a detailed report of the investigation and publish it. We may also send the report to the media with a press release.
Our decision statements and public interest reports do not reveal your identity or that of the people involved, but do name the organisation investigated.