Age UK Lincoln's Compliments and Complaints Policy
Policy Document: B.10 COMPLIMENTS & COMPLAINTS
Reviewed: February 2011 by Natalie Cooper Operations Support Manager
Approved by the Trustees on 21st February 2011.
Signed: J.B. Earnshaw (Chief Executive Officer)
Signed: P.A. Parker (Chairman 0f Trustees)
COMPLIMENTS & COMPLAINTS
Age UK Lincoln aims to provide a high-quality, responsive, user-led service. In order to ensure we do so we need to take account of the views and wishes of those we are here to support. We welcome every opportunity to monitor and improve our service and having a “complaints and compliments” policy and a clear procedure for resolving complaints is one way of doing this.
COMPLIMENTING OUR SERVICE
Compliments are valuable, welcome and important and when they are received, either verbally or in writing, they will be recorded. Compliments enable Age UK Lincoln to;
• Understand that our service is being provided to our users’ satisfaction
• Provide positive feedback to our staff
• Influence our organisational and service development
• Inform our quality assurance programme
COMPLAINING ABOUT OUR SERVICE
Age UK Lincoln recognises that there will be times when our trustees, staff and volunteers make mistakes, or get things wrong. In order to learn from such mistakes we need to know about them and encourage people to comment or complain. Such comments or complaints will always be taken seriously, recorded and responded to as detailed in the procedure for resolving complaints, which accompanies this policy statement.
PROCEDURE FOR RESOLVING COMPLAINTS
Who Can Use This Procedure?
This procedure is for anyone who comes into contact with trustees, staff and volunteers from Age UK Lincoln. By anyone we mean service users - the families and friends of service-users, other voluntary groups, statutory agencies and any other member of the public.
1.1 We hope that the majority of complaints can be resolved informally by speaking directly to the person or persons involved. If, however, this does not prove possible Stage 2 and 3 are available to support complainants.
If it has not been possible to resolve your complaint at Stage 1 you should move to Stage 2.
2.1 If your complaint relates to the governance of Age UK Lincoln by the Board of Trustees you should write to the Chief Executive Officer, at Age UK Lincoln, 23 Sixfield Close, Lincoln LN6 0EJ.
2.2 If your complaint relates to an operational policy you should write to the Chief Executive Officer, at the address given at 2.1.
2.3 If your complaint is about a member of Age UK Lincoln’s staff or a volunteer you should write to their line manager. If you are not sure of who that is contact the main office on 01522 696000 and speak to our reception, who will give you that information. This request will be treated in confidence.
2.4. If your complaint is about a member of Age UK Lincoln’s Board of Trustees or the Chief Executive Officer/Manager you must write to the ‘Chair of Trustees at the address given in 2.1 who is a member of the Board who has been designated by the Board of Trustees to handle complaints at this level.
2.5 In 2.1- 2.4 above your letter will be acknowledged by the addressee within 5 working days of the date of receipt. If the addressee is on holiday or sick leave he or she will have ensured that arrangements are in place for complaints to be acknowledged.
Once the complaint has been acknowledged it will be investigated and a written response provided within 20 working days. If this timeframe is delayed because of holiday or sick leave you will be informed when your complaint is acknowledged.
2.6 If you are not satisfied by the response at Stage 2 you should move to Stage 3.
3.1 If your complaint has related to the governance of Age UK Lincoln by the Board of Trustees you should write to the ‘Chair of Trustees’, the Board of Trustee member designated to hear complaints at the address given in 2.1.
3.2 If your complaint has related to an operational policy you should write to the ‘Chair of Trustees, the Board of Trustee member designated to oversee policies at the address given in 2.1.
3.3 If your complaint has been about a member of Age UK Lincoln’s staff or a volunteer your complaint will be heard by their line manager’s manager. In the case of Age UK Lincoln’s staff or volunteers reporting to the Manager you should write to the Chief Executive Officer at the address given in 2.1.
3.4 If your complaint has been about a member of the Board of Trustees or the Chief Executive Officer/Manager your complaint will be heard by a small panel of 3 members of the Board (not including the designated trustee identified in 3.1-3.3 above). You should write to the Chairman of the Board at the address given in 2.1. The Chairman of the Board will appoint the panel members and the panel will normally meet within 20 working days of your request.
You will be notified in writing about the time and place of the meeting at least 10 days beforehand so that you may attend if you wish. A representative may accompany you. The Review Panel will let you know its decisions and the reasons for those decisions in writing within 7 days.
3.5 In 3.1- 3.4 above your letter will be acknowledged by the addressee within 5 working days of the date of the receipt. If the addressee is on holiday or sick leave he or she will have ensured arrangements are in place for complaints to be acknowledged.
In 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3 once the complaint has been acknowledged it will be investigated and a written response provided within 20 working days. If this timeframe is delayed because of holiday or sick leave you will be informed when your complaint is acknowledged.
IF THE COMPLAINANT IS STILL NOT SATISFIED
If, following the above procedures, the complainant is still unhappy with the action taken, any written response will include details of what to do next and who to contact.
If the complainant wishes to take the matter further, they have the right to contact:
Age UK, Astral House, 1268 London Road, LONDON, SW16 4ER
Their Local Authority at Lincolnshire County Council, County Offices, Newland, Lincoln LN1 1YL
Local Government Ombudsman, PO Box 4471, Coventry CV4 0EH
The Chief Executive Officer, Line Managers and the designated Trustee from the Board will maintain a record of complaints and compliments and these will be reviewed on a regular basis. The Board will receive information at their meetings on the number of complaints and compliments received in a quarter.
COMMENTS AND COMPLIMENTS PROCEDURE
? Complaints and compliments are an important mechanism for monitoring and improving the service given by Age UK Lincoln.
- The Chief Executive Officer/Line Manager or Trustee designated by the Policy Statement should be the first recipient.
- Comments or complaints will be acknowledged within five working days and responded to, in writing within twenty working days.
- If a complainant is still dissatisfied thereafter, the complaint should be addressed to the Senior Manager designated by the Policy, and the second stage of the procedure will be invoked.
- If the complainant is still dissatisfied then concerns may further be taken to the external organisation with the relevant regulatory controls.
- A record of complaints will be kept by each Senior Manager. These will be reviewed on a regular basis, and reported on quarterly to the Board of Trustees.
- Specific details which may identify either complainant or staff member will be kept strictly confidential.