Many people are reluctant to complain. Your Trustees can only resolve difficulties and improve the service they offer, if you advise them when issues arise. Set out below is a procedure to be followed if a resident wishes to raise a complaint in connection with the occupation of his or her almshouse, or about services provided by the charity relating to the almshouses.
- Minor matters, such as small maintenance items, should be referred to the Warden when they arise. They should be attended to as soon as reasonably possible.
- If the Warden or operations Manager is unable to resolve the minor matter the resident should refer this to the Chairman of Trustees in writing. The Trustees wish to emphasise that all communications about complaints will be treated confidentially within the charity.
- If you have a complaint about staff employed by the charity, other residents or a serious breach of health and safety regulations, you should put your complaint in writing at the outset to the Chairman, with a formal request for it to be considered by the Trustees at their next meeting. You will, if you wish to exercise that right, be entitled to attend when your complaint is being discussed, accompanied by a friend, advocate or professional advisor.
- It is important that you raise a difficulty or a complaint as an individual. You should not act as a spokesman or woman on behalf of a number of residents or be cajoled into supporting a particular vociferous or belligerent resident.
- Trustees are obligated to write to the resident to advise of the action taken to resolve the complaint or difficulty.
- All almshouse charities which are Registered Providers , have a regulatory obligation to maintain a Complaints Procedure. If you remain dissatisfied following consideration by, and the decision of, the Trustees, you have the right to take your complaint to The Housing Ombudsman whose address is: 81 Aldwych, London WC2B 4HN. Tel: 020 7421 3800 Fax: 020 7404 7092. When writing to the Ombudsman please state your full name and address, telephone number (if any) and also set out the details of the complaint. The Ombudsman will only be able to consider a complaint if he is satisfied that the charity’s own Complaints Procedure, as detailed above, has been fully exhausted and that it falls within his jurisdiction.