Complaints process

The Abbeyfield Society is committed to providing the highest possible quality of service. However, we understand that sometimes things go wrong and you may wish to make a complaint.

What is a complaint?

A complaint can be defined as:
“an expression of dissatisfaction, however made, about the standard of service, actions or lack of action by the organisation, its own staff, or those acting on its behalf, affecting an individual resident or group of residents.”

Who can make a complaint?

Our complaints process is intended for residents, or prospective residents, of houses and homes that we directly manage and their representatives, but it applies to any stakeholder who wishes to make a complaint about one of our services or any other aspect of The Abbeyfield Society (TAS).

How to complain

If something goes wrong, your first course of action should be to raise the issue directly with the relevant manager or staff member concerned. In many cases, they will often be able to put things right very quickly and simply and no further action will be required.

However, if you do not feel comfortable doing this, or you are dissatisfied with the initial response, please make a complaint using the steps outlined below, and we will aim to resolve your complaint as quickly as possible.

You can make a complaint in many ways – and you don’t have to put it in writing if you don’t want to. The simplest way to raise a complaint is through our Complaints Officer.

By email
You can send your complaint by email to
The information you provide will be sent directly to the Complaints Officer.

By post
Alternatively you can send your complaint by post to:
Complaints Officer
The Abbeyfield Society
St Peter’s House
2 Bricket Road
St Albans

By telephone
You can call 01727 857536 and ask to speak to the Complaints Officer. Where a complaint is received by telephone, the Complaints Officer will make a written record and provide you with a copy of our record to ensure that we have understood the issues raised.

If you have any difficulty in raising a complaint using the above methods, please let us know and we will make all reasonable adjustments necessary to enable you to make your complaint and to support you to get it resolved.

What to include in your complaint

When making a complaint, please tell us what went wrong; how you would like the matter to be resolved; and your name, address and contact details (so we can keep you up-to-date as we investigate and provide you with our response).

What happens when you complain

The Complaints Officer will acknowledge your complaint in writing, and provide you with the name of the manager who will investigate the complaint. They will respond within 10 working days, unless a later date is agreed with you.

If you remain dissatisfied following this response, you can ask for your complaint to be escalated for further review. See our full Making a Complaint Guide for residents and their representatives.

It may be necessary for staff to contact you for further information during the course of the investigation, so please do remember to include full contact details with your complaint.

All complaints will be treated confidentially, and information will only be shared with staff as necessary to the investigation.

You have the right to expect:
• your complaint to be handled promptly and efficiently
• the process to be transparent and fair
• to be treated with respect at all times

In developing our complaints process, Abbeyfield has adopted the principles outlined in the Housing Ombudsman’s Complaint Handling Code (July 2020), the single complaints statement and good practice guide produced by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and Healthwatch England (July 2018), as well as the ARCO (The Associated Retirement Community Operators) Consumer Code (Section 8: Handling and resolving complaints).

To comply with the Housing Ombudsman’s Scheme, TAS is required to complete an annual self-assessment of our complaint handling procedures. You can see the results of our first end-of-year assessment from December 2020 here.

Updated: 22 December 2020

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