Western Care Association is committed to providing a quality service for service users and their families. Complaints are regarded as an important source of information for improving services. The complaints policy enables matters of concern to be brought to the attention of the organisation and enables an investigation of these concerns with the aim of finding a satisfactory resolution and overall improvement of services. The full “Procedure for the Resolution of Concerns and Complaints to Western Care Association”, can be accessed here. Complaints Policy


How can a complaint be made?

Complaints can be made either verbally, written, email or fax or by using the Western Care Association Complaints Register.


Who can make a complaint?

Any person/family who is being provided with, has been provided with or is seeking to be provided with services by Western Care Association.  If a person is unable to make a complaint due to age, illness or disability, the complaint can be made on their behalf with their permission.



Section 48 of the Health Act 2004 (1) outlines that a person is not entitled to make a complaint about certain matters e.g. matters that are or have been subject to legal proceedings, exercise of clinical judgement etc.  A full list of these exclusions is outlined in the “Procedure for the Resolution of Concerns and Complaints to Western Care Association”.


Who can I make a complaint to?


Stage 1: You should talk to the staff who work directly with you/your family member as this is usually the best way to bring forward an issue or a concern and have it resolved informally. 


Stage 2: If you are not satisfied with the resolution of your complaint by talking to the staff who work directly with you/your family member, or you feel you can’t address the issue with them, you should contact the Complaints Officer for your area, who will look into your complaint.  (Note: It may be possible to resolve your complaint informally at this point).


What will happen next?

·         If informal resolution is not possible, the Complaints Officer will carry out a formal investigation of your complaint, drawing on appropriate expertise, skills etc as required.


·         Your complaint will be acknowledged within 5 working days of decision to formally investigate.


·         The Complaints Officer will endeavor to resolve your complaint within 30 working days of it being acknowledged.  If, however, this is not possible, you will be informed of this by the Complaints Officer within 30 working days of the acknowledgement, giving an indication of the time it will take to complete the investigation.


·         The Complaints Officer will thereafter update you every 20 working days on the progress of the investigation.


Appeals Process

Stage 3 (Internal review):  If you are not happy with the outcome of the investigation into your complaint, you can request an Internal Review by Western Care Association. This request must be made within 30 working days of receipt of the final report on your complaint


Stage 4 (External Review): At any stage of the complaints process you can request an external review by The Ombudsman/Ombudsman for Children. 


We are required to log all complaints, both informal and formal.


Time Limits for Making a Complaint.

Part 9, Section 47 of the Health Act 2004 outlines that a complaint must be made within:

· 12 months of the date of the action giving rise to the complaint or

· Within 12 months of the complainant becoming aware of the action giving rise to the complaint.


These time limits may be extended if, in the opinion of the Complaints Officer, special circumstances make it appropriate to do so. 


Contact information:

Complaints Officer:

Western Care Association, John Moore Road, Castlebar, Co. Mayo                                     

Tel: 094 90 25133    Email:          


Western Care Internal Reviewer:

Training and Development Manager,

John Moore Road, Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Tel: 094 9025133    Email:


Office of the Ombudsman:

6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, D02 W773

Tel: 01 639 5600           Email: 



Ombudsman for Children Office:

Millennium House, 52-56 Great Strand Street, Dublin 1

Lo-call: 1800 20 20 40   Email:





Confidential Recipient


You can also make a complaint to Leigh Gath, the Confidential Recipient, who is an independent person appointed by the HSE to receive concerns and allegations of abuse, negligence, mistreatment or poor care practices in HSE or HSE funded residential care facilities in good faith from patients, service users, families, other concerned individuals and staff members.


Leigh Gath

Confidential Recipient for Vulnerable Persons

Training Services Centre



Lo Call: 1890 100 014

Mobile: 087 665 7269