Compliments, Comments and Complaints

We have high expectations of all our staff, particularly when dealing with you. We hope you find us friendly, accessible and professional. This information outlines our compliments, comments and complaints procedure.

Compliments

We are always pleased to know that we are providing a good service or that our staff are doing a good job. It helps us to know that we are developing services in the right way and we always pass on your compliments to members of staff.

Comments

We are constantly looking at new ways to improve our services and we welcome all customer comments. Comments are important to us because we can learn from what we are doing and build upon it.

Complaints

Sometimes things go wrong and it will help us to improve our services if you let us know when they could have been better. Quite often complaints can be sorted out on the spot, but if not, we aim to investigate your complaint fairly and fully and deal with it quickly and politely.

We want to hear from you if you are dissatisfied in any way with a service provided by the Authority, or any organisation contracted to work for the Authority.

Let us know how we're doing

You can make a compliment, comment or a complaint by completing our online form

You can write to us at

Corporate Communications and Business Development
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue
Service Headquarters
Lime Grove Avenue
Carmarthen SA31 1SP

Calling us directly on 0370 6060 699
or by sending us an email

You can also make a complaint to the Fire Authority.

The Authority is run, like local councils, by elected members who you can contact at any time. If you would like to write to an elected member you can ring Corporate Communications & Democratic Services on 01267 226 864 who will be glad to provide you with their names. You can also access this information from our website, or you can write to elected members at:

Fire Authority Monitoring Officer
Mid and West Wales Fire Authority
Headquarters
Lime Grove Avenue
Carmarthen
SA31 1SP

You can contact the Authority, in Welsh or English, according to your language need or choice. In accordance with the Authority’s obligation to comply with the Welsh Language Standards, all correspondence will be in the language in which you have corresponded with the Authority or have noted as your language choice. Corresponding in Welsh will not lead to any delay.

Complaints and the complaints procedure

If you are not satisfied with the service you have received please explain the problem to the member of staff you are dealing with. Give them a chance to put the problem right as most difficulties can be sorted quickly in this way. If you are still not happy you can make a formal complaint.

A complaint will be investigated if it is one of the following:

  • An expression of dissatisfaction about the standard of service.
  • Actions or lack of action by the Fire Service affecting an individual or group. A complaint that the Fire Service has failed to observe proper procedures.
  • A complaint that there has been an unacceptable delay in dealing with a matter.
  • A complaint about the way in which an individual has been treated by a member of the Service.

All complaints received must include your contact details, any anonymous correspondence will not be formally dealt with. If you make a complaint we will only discuss it with the people who need to know, in order to try to put it right, and we will tell you who they are.

You may refer a complaint relating to the Authority’s failure to comply with the Welsh Language Standards directly to the Welsh Language Commissioner or alternatively, in the first instance, contact the Authority directly.

Complaints can be made regarding: the level or standard of provision of Welsh language services in general; compliance with the Welsh Language Standards under the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011; or compliance with other legislative duties, for examples, the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. Complaints regarding compliance or provision of services in Welsh, should be reported in accordance with the steps outlined at Stages 1 and/or 2 outlined below. If we do not succeed in resolving your complaint and you remain dissatisfied following our final response, you will be provided with the contact details for the Welsh Language Commissioner for independent consideration of the complaint.

It can be difficult to look into things that happened a long time ago. Unless there are  exceptional circumstances, we will not consider a complaint about something that happened more than 12 months ago.

Once you make a complaint, your information will be held for at least 3 years after it has been resolved in line with the Service Retention Schedule. Further information about the Service’s Data Protection Procedures can be obtained from the Service’s Data Protection Officer.

In times of trouble or distress, some people may act out of character. There may have been upsetting or distressing circumstances leading up to a concern or a complaint.  We believe that all complainants have the right to be heard, understood and respected. However, we also consider that our staff have the same rights. We, therefore, expect you to be polite and courteous in your dealings with us. We will not tolerate aggressive or abusive behaviour, unreasonable demands or unreasonable persistence. We have a separate policy to manage situations where we find that someone’s actions are unacceptable.

Step 1: Informal Resolution

We offer the opportunity for informal engagement and every effort will be made to resolve complaints either at the time the concern arises or very shortly thereafter. Fire Service employees are empowered to deal with complaints as they arise with the aim of resolving issues on the spot by means of an explanation or other appropriate remedial action by the employee to whom the complaint is made.

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint at the end of the informal stage  then you will be advised how to progress your complaint to the formal investigation stage.

If your complaint falls under a special procedure (for example, a disciplinary or legal procedure) we will tell you.

If we consider that your complaint is justified, we will apologise and let you know what we can do to put things right. If we feel that your complaint is not justified we will tell you why.

 

Step 2: What happens when I make a complaint?

We will send you a letter telling you that we have received your complaint. We will aim to send you this letter within two working days. When you make your complaint, one of our officers will investigate the problem. We will appoint the Investigating Officer based on the skills, knowledge or expertise required to appropriately respond to your complaint. All Investigating Officers will receive appropriate complaints handing training in line with the development pathway for their role and this will include how to handle complaints regarding the Welsh language.  You will be given the name and phone number of a contact officer who can explain our complaints procedure and if required, guide and assist you.

We will aim to give you a full reply within 14 working days. If we cannot give a complete answer, or if your complaint is of a complex nature, we will tell you what we are doing to investigate your complaint and how long we expect it to take.

Public Services Ombudsman For Wales

We hope that we will be able to resolve most complaints at steps 1 or 2 but if you are still unhappy with our reply, you can refer the matter to the Public Services Ombudsman For Wales to request an independent investigation of your complaint.

Please note, the Ombudsman will usually only consider your complaint once you have been through step 2 of our complaints procedure. The Ombudsman normally expects you to bring your complaint within 12 months of becoming aware of the problem.

Public Services Ombudsman For Wales
1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae
Pencoed
CF35 5LJ

Telephone: 01656 641150
Email: ask@ombudsman-wales.org.uk
Visit ombudsman-wales.org.uk (opens in a new window/tab) for further information

Your case will be reviewed by an officer from the Ombudsman’s office. If you would like us to contact the Ombudsman on your behalf we will acknowledge that the matter has been sent to the Ombudsman within 2 working days.

Welsh Language Commissioner

If you are dissatisfied with our response to your complaint regarding the provision of Welsh Language services, you can refer the matter to the Welsh Language Commissioner for independent consideration of the complaint.

For more information about the Welsh Language Commissioner, you can contact them at:

Welsh Language Commissioner
Market Chambers
5–7 St Mary Street
Cardiff
CF10 1AT

Telephone: 0345 6033 221
Email: post@welshlanguagecommissioner.wales
Visit welshlanguagecommissioner.wales (opens in a new window/tab) for more information.