Complaints and suggestions procedures

Making a complaint or a suggestion


We always aim to provide a high standard of care in all our services and our service users views are important to us. If you are unhappy with any of our services it is important that you let us know straight away.

If a complaint alerts us to possible abuse, neglect or criminality we will escalate the complaint to Gloucestershire Constabulary and Cheltenham Borough Council and invite them to investigate the matter independently.

Making  a suggestion

Often people feel more comfortable about suggesting improvements rather than complaining formally. Anyone may make a suggestion.

If you feel the suggestion is something that Cheltenham Guardians needs to consider you can email

Making  a complaint

We aim to handle complaints quickly, effectively and in a fair and honest way. We will take all complaints seriously and use valuable information from investigating to help us improve the service we provide. We will treat all complaints in confidence. Cheltenham Guardians assures service users and their families that it will not withdraw or reduce services because someone makes a complaint in good faith.

Who can complain

Anyone affected by the way Cheltenham Guardians provides services can make a complaint.

If you are not happy about making a complaint yourself and you do not know someone who can talk or email us on your behalf, we will be happy to find someone from an independent organisation to act as an advocate for you.

How you can make a complaint

You or an advocate or representative can email

Anonymous complaints

We deal with anonymous complaints under the same procedure; however it is better if you can provide contact details so we can tell you the outcome of our investigation.


The Operations Director of Cheltenham Guardians has overall responsibility for dealing with all complaints made about the organisation. If the complaint is directed against the Operations Director it will be forwarded on to the management executive for investigation.

We will provide as far as is reasonably practical:

  • any help you need to understand the complaints procedure; or
  • advice on where you may get that help.

How we handle complaints

The Operations Director may ask one of the management executive team to investigate the complaint. That person will have enough seniority and experience to deal with the issues raised by the complaint.

We will acknowledge a complaint within 3 working days and give you the name and contact details of the person investigating it.

We will keep you informed about the progress of the investigation. We aim to have all complaints finished within 28 working days unless we agree a different time scale with you.

When we have finished investigating, we will arrange to meet with you to discuss the outcome, and write to you with:

  • details of the findings;
  • any action we have taken; and
  • our proposals to resolve your complaint.

Time limits

You should complain as soon as you can after the date on which the event occurred or came to your notice. If you complain more than twelve months later we may not be able to investigate properly and on this basis we will not initiate an investigation.

Further steps

At any stage during the process, if you are not happy with the way we are dealing with your complaint you can request that we seek third party adjudication. This means that the complaint will be looked at by an independent person or body and not an officer of Cheltenham Guardians.

We can provide this policy in other languages or in other formats on request.