Complaints and feedback

We want to hear the views of customers about our services.

We recognise the right of customers to make a complaint when we fall short of their expectations, the standards set by our regulator or our organisational values.

We view feedback and complaints as a valuable resource to help improve our service offer and delivery, and we are committed to excellence in everything we do. The success of our organisation depends on our ability to deliver excellent services that exceed expectations: we can only do this if we receive, listen to and act on feedback.

If you need to report anti-social behaviour, please click here.

If you have a safeguarding concern, please click here.

How to make a complaint or give feedback

Feedback can be given using any of the following ways:

You can also make complaints or provide feedback by:

  • Calling our customer contact centre during office hours on 0333 010 4600
  • In person to any member of Look Ahead staff
  • In writing to your service or to Customer Services, Look Ahead, Kings Building, and 16 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HQ
  • By voicing your opinion at one of our customer scrutiny panels, visit our get involved page for more information
  • Using the Feedback and Complaints form available in all services, local suggestion boxes, local meetings and forums
  • Via an authorised advocate or external support person
  • Through the Senior Complaints and Feedback Officer (SCFO) at feedback@lookahead.org.uk

Look Ahead complies with the Housing Ombudsman’s code of conduct. Customers and tenants have the right to contact the Housing Ombudsman at any point in the complaints process to seek advice and guidance. The Housing Ombudsman can be contacted on their website at https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/contact-us/.

To measure our performance against the Housing Ombudsman’s Code of Conduct, Look Ahead have completed a self-assessment. It shows how well we are performing against the code, the areas that we need to improve on, and evidence of the ways that we are doing this.

Feedback

A key part of our commitment to improving service quality is taking feedback on board. We want to hear from you about:

  • when we have done something well
  • a compliment about our services or colleagues
  • a suggestion about how we could improve a service, procedure or process
  • constructive criticism that you may not wish to formalise as a complaint

We also love to hear when you have received an excellent service. This helps us to recognise where we are doing particularly well so we can share this with our other services. If you feel that a particular staff member or team has gone above and beyond this year, you can also give them a well deserved pat on the back. You can also do this through our feedback form here.

Complaints

At Look Ahead, we always aim to provide the best possible service for our customers. However we recognise that sometimes things can go wrong. When this happens we will try to put things right as soon as possible.

We record two types of complaints:

  1. Informal complaints are those that can be quickly resolved and do not require a full investigation.
  2. Formal complaints are those that may be more serious, need to be investigated by a manager and may require further action.

We aim to resolve complaints promptly wherever possible. This could mean an on-the-spot apology and explanation if something has clearly gone wrong and immediate action to resolve the problem. If we can’t resolve a complaint we will explain why. If a complainant is still dis-satisfied they can have their complaint investigated formally.

    • Failure to provide a servicer standards of delivery relating to support, accommodation or housing services or safety
    • The behaviour or conduct of staff, volunteer or contractors working on behalf of Look Ahead
    • Delays in responding to enquiries and requests.
    • Poor treatment by a staff member or a contractor.
    • Failure to follow policy and procedures.
    • Poor quality of repairs, maintenance,  gardening, cleaning or ground works; or delays
    • Disagreement with decisions.
    • Requests for service (e.g. reporting a repair or asking us to deal with an incident of anti-social behaviour). Ask staff for more information on how to report these issues.
    • Complaints about things outside of Look Ahead’s control (e.g. about the service of another organisation or move-on options in your local area).
    • Appeals against warnings, notices to quit or evictions – please ask staff for more information on our separate appeals process.
    • Complaints arsing from incidents more than 6 months old unless there is a pattern of concern, a potential breach of the Equalities Act or linked to regulated activity.
    • Complaints that become part of a legal process, for example a legal disrepair case reported through a solicitor
    • Our customers – people who are supported by Look Ahead staff or who live in a home where we are the landlord
    • Family members, carers, or advocates supporting a customer
    • Organisations who receive a service directly from us.
    • People who are affected by a service we provide (e.g. neighbours)

When dealing with your complaint, we will always listen to you, treat you with respect and ask you what outcome you would like. Complains are dealt with by our team in three possible stages.

Timescales for complaints

  • All formal complaints will be acknowledged within 3 working days
  • Stage 1 complaints will be investigated and a written outcome provided within 13 working days of receipt of your complaint being received
  • Stage 2 complaints will be investigated and a written outcome provided within 18 working days of receipt of your complaint being received
  • Stage 3 complaints will be acknowledged within 3 working days
  • Stage 3 complaint panels will be organised within 7 working days of receipt of your complaint being received
  • Stage 3 complaint panels will be convened within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint your complaint being received
  • The outcome of stage 3 complaints will be communicated in writing within 5 working days of the panel meeting being held

All new formal complaints will be logged at stage one and investigated by a manager. You will receive a response within 13 working days. If you are not happy with the outcome of stage one you can request to escalate it to stage two where you feel we have not understood your complaint; missed out key information in reaching our decision.

After each stage 1 complaint you will be offered the opportunity to complete a complaints satisfaction survey. This is to help us to improve the complaint service.

The complaint will be reinvestigated by a different manager, who will look at your complaint again or additional information. We will respond to all stage two complaints within 18 working days. If you are still not happy with the response given at stage two you can request that your complaint is escalated to stage three, the final stage in our complaints process.

Your complaint will be looked at by a panel of managers and customer representatives to try and find a solution. You will be notified within seven days and a panel will convene within seven days of that acknowledgement. They will meet with you to discuss this. You will hear from us within five working days of the panel meeting.

Next steps If you remain dissatisfied with our final response, you can refer your complaint to the Housing Ombudsman (if your complaint is about housing) or the Local Government Ombudsman (if your complaint is about care). We will always provide you with these details.

Complaints policy

Our standards

Ensure that all customers to have a clear, simple and accessible process to complain

Support customers to bring complaints or make comments where required

Making reasonable adjustments to be able to provide feedback or make a complaint

Listen and respond to all feedback and use it to improve our services

Focus on resolving issues leading to complaints quickly

Provide staff with the tools to resolve complaints promptly and appropriately

Act quickly when we have done something wrong and learn from our mistakes

Reduce the impact of any identified unsafe or inappropriate care or treatment