Age UK Hythe and Lyminge believes that if a person wishes to make a complaint or register a concern they should find it easy to do so. It is Age UK Hythe and Lyminge’s policy to welcome complaints and look upon them as an opportunity to learn, adapt, improve and provide better services. This policy is intended to ensure that complaints are dealt with properly and that all complaints or comments by service users and their relatives and carers are taken seriously.
The policy is not designed to apportion blame, to consider the possibility of negligence or to provide compensation. It is not part of Age UK Hythe and Lyminge’s disciplinary policy.
Age UK Hythe and Lyminge believes that failure to listen to or acknowledge complaints will lead to an aggravation of problems, service user dissatisfaction and possible litigation.
Age UK Hythe and Lyminge supports the principle that most complaints, if dealt with early, openly and honestly, can be sorted at a local level between the complainant and Age UK Hythe and Lyminge.
Age UK Hythe and Lyminge complaints procedure complies fully with the current legislation and regulations.
Aim of the policy
Age UK Hythe and Lyminge aims is to ensure that its complaints procedure is properly and effectively implemented and that service users feel confident that their complaints and worries are listened to and acted upon promptly and fairly.
This document describes the complaints procedure that operates at Age UK Hythe and Lyminge.
Section 2 summarises the categories of complaints likely to be raised within the organisation and the stages to be followed in resolving them in each case. In many cases, issues will be resolved after the first or second stages, in which case the remaining steps will not need to be followed. Section 3 onwards describes the procedures to be followed in more detail.
- METHODS OF RAISING A COMPLAINT
Complaints can be made by many methods
- Verbally over the telephone 01303 269602 or face to face
- Written, by post in the form of a letter or by email. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- CATEGORIES OF COMPLAINTS
Complaint made by a user about the service delivered
- Raise issue with the Centre Manager Matthew Martin, if the complaint is about the Centre Manager the complaint can be brought to the attention of the Chief officer Cleo Smith.
- The centre Manager will endeavour to resolve the issue.
- If unresolved, the complaint will be presented to the chief Officer
- If still unresolved the complaint will be reported to the Board of trustees.
Complaint made by a user about Chief Officer
- Raise issue with the Chairman of Trustees
- Raise issue with Board of Trustees
Complaint made by a user about a board member
- Raise the issue with the Chairman of Trustees if the complaint is about the Chairman the complaint can be brought to the attention of the Chief officer Cleo Smith or Vice Chairman
- If not resolved, the complaint is presented to the Board of Trustees.
- MAKING A COMPLAINT
When a client wishes to complain about Age UK Hythe and Lyminge’s service, the following procedure should be adopted.
The complainant should be given a copy of the complaints policy or, on request/as appropriate, have the procedure explained to them orally.
All Complaint dialogue is required to be authorised by the Board of Trustees
3.1 Making an initial complaint – Stage 1
The complainant should be invited to speak to the relevant person to discuss the complaint with them. This can be done in person or by phone or in writing and a record of the conversation should be recorded.
At this stage all possible attempts should be made to resolve the complaint on the same day and in any event as soon as practicable after the complaint is made. The outcome can be given either verbally or in writing, as appropriate, and the level of redress should also be detailed where appropriate. The complainant should be informed of the next stage of the complaints procedure should they remain dissatisfied.
Stage 1 should be completed within five working days of receiving the complaint.
4.2 Making a further complaint – Stage 2
If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of their initial complaint, they should be invited to make a complaint to the Chief Officer Cleo Smith who should follow the procedure above.
Stage 2 should be completed within 10 working days of receiving the second stage complaint.
4.3 Complaint to the Board Complaints Panel – Stage 3
If the Chief Officer is not able to resolve the complaint, the complainant should inform the Chairman either by completing a complaints form (as above) or writing a letter. This complaint will be referred to the Board of Trustees.
- Board of Trustees
The Board will notify the complainant in writing that they are dealing with the matter. The Board will review the events in Stage 1 and may seek further clarification from any of the parties involved. This may include interviewing the complainant if necessary.
The Board will notify the complainant of their decision and reasons for the decision within 15 working days of having received the complaint – unless they notify the complainant of a reason for delay.
- FINAL APPEAL TO THE BOARD CHAIR
If the complainant remains unsatisfied, they should contact the Chair who will investigate the complaints procedure and report to the complainant within 15 days of having received the appeal. The Chair's decision is final.
If the Chief Officer or Board of Trustees find that the complaint is upheld, redress will be offered to the complainant. In deciding the level of redress, the manager or the Board should make their decision based on the facts of each case and the loss or inconvenience incurred by the complainant.
- an apology, written or verbal
- an undertaking and subsequent report on improving or developing policies/procedure where these appear to be at fault/absent
- agreement to undertake specific work on behalf of a user
- in exceptional cases, e.g. minor financial loss where the fault of Age UK Hythe and Lyminge is indisputable and relates solely to the one aspect of the case, financial compensation can be paid. These decisions must be considered by the Board and will include claiming under our professional indemnity cover if appropriate.
- RECORDING AND MONITORING COMPLAINTS
All complaints will be recorded and kept on file in the Complaints file. Complaints is an agenda item during Trustees meetings, the board is given a full report of any complaints.