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Unreasonably Persistent Complainants

Unreasonably Persistent Complainants

North Yorkshire Safeguarding Adults Board is committed to dealing with all complaints fairly and impartially and to providing a high quality service to those who make them.

We must ensure that that money is spent wisely and achieves value for complainants and the wider public.

This policy applies to complaints relating to NYSAB and not its partners. Where a complaint is received by the Board that relates to an individual partner, it will be passed on to the relevant partner and the complainant will be advised to contact the partner complaints team directly. This policy applies to complaints received by the NYSAB office in any form, including verbally, in writing, by email, through the NYSAB website and via social media channels.

We do not normally limit the contact complainants have with our offices. However, there may be complainants who, because of the frequency of their contact with the NYSAB office, hinder our ability to deliver the statutory duties of the Board. We refer to such complainants as ‘unreasonably persistent complainants’ and, exceptionally, we will take action to limit their contact with the NYSAB office.

The decision to restrict access to the Board will be taken by the Independent Chair and statutory partners and will normally follow a warning to the complainant. Any restrictions imposed will be appropriate and proportionate. The options we are most likely to consider are:

  • requesting contact in a particular form (for example, in writing only);
  • requiring contact to take place with a named officer;
  • restricting telephone calls to specified days and times; and/or
  • asking the complainant to enter into an agreement about their future contacts with the Board.

In all cases where we decide to treat someone as an unreasonably persistent complainant we will write to tell the complainant why we believe his or her behaviour falls into that category, what action we are taking and the duration of that action. We will also tell them how they can appeal against that decision if they disagree with it. If we decide to carry on treating someone as an unreasonably persistent complainant and we are still dealing with their complaint six months later, we will carry out a review and decide if restrictions will continue.

Where a complainant whose case is closed persists in communicating with us about it, we may decide to terminate contact with that complainant. In such cases we will read all correspondence from that complainant, but unless there is fresh evidence, we will simply acknowledge it or place it on the file with no acknowledgement. The complainant will be informed that we will do this.

New complaints from people who have been identified as unreasonably persistent complainants in the past will be treated on their merits.

September 2019

FOR REVIEW September 2021

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