#DeclareYourCare Campaign – Two Perspectives

Two different perspectives by Gary Bourlet, self-advocate, and Frank Steeples, Quality Assurance lead at KeyRing

The #DeclareYourCare campaign that is going this month is to encourage people with learning disabilities or autism, their family, carers and advocates to complain and give feedback on their care.

People with learning disabilities are 17% more likely to regret not complaining about issues with care than people without learning disabilities. But everyone has the right to complain if you are treated unfairly, especially when it comes to your care.

You might be in a day centre, residential home, respite care, ATU, GP surgery, Hospital or other institution and want to give feedback about how you have been treated whether it is positive or negative.

But I understand more than anyone why people can be scared to complain. I have been in situation in a day centre where I or friend was treated unfairly, and it took me lots of guts to write a letter of complaint. The manager of my day centre was then angry with me and I felt he came down on me like a ton of bricks. But I now realise that lots of good can actually come from complaining.

Complaining makes services better because they know where they are going wrong and this can then give you a better quality of life when they improve. You can always get yourself an advocate to support you or contact your council or even the citizen advice bureau.

If more of us complain as a group, then more can get done. There may be those who will try to put you off complaining, but don’t let them, if you feel like you need to complain then you probably should.

Gary Bourlet

We think it is great that Members (people we support) know how to complain when something in KeyRing has gone wrong. It is even more important that Members know how to effectively complain about anything that is wrong in their lives.

The approach by Ask Listen Do allows KeyRing the opportunity to help Members to understand how to complain effectively.

We want people to feel ok giving feedback, raising concerns or complaining. It’s how we learn and improve the service that we deliver, and how people get the services, support and life they are entitled to.

Frank Steeples, KeyRing