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EXTERNAL COMMENTS AND COMPLAINTS  PROCEDURE v 5.0

1. Policy Statement

1.1. Age UK London (AUL) aims to improve the quality of life and enhance the status and influence of older people from London’s diverse communities. In the course of its work, AUL is mostly involved with Age UK organisations or other organisations working with older people, and occasionally with members of the public.

1.2. Age UK London is committed to providing high quality services to its different users. In order to ensure its work remains at a high and improving standard, the organisation welcomes external comments and feedback from users.  Complaints will be dealt with fairly using the internal procedures set out below.  

2. Comments and Compliments

2.1. Unsolicited oral and written feedback from those with whom Age UK London works will, wherever possible, be communicated to the relevant staff and volunteers. Suggestions to improve services will be considered, and improvements made as the organisation sees fit. 

2.2. All comments, along with other feedback (e.g. occasional surveys, evaluation of formal events, workshops, conferences etc), will be collated, evaluated and periodically considered by the Board of Trustees. 

3. Complaints

3.1. If a complaint is made about any aspect of Age UK London and/or its work, the following procedure will apply:

  • All complaints will be referred to the Chief Executive who will ensure every effort is made to resolve matters informally through dialogue.
  • If matters cannot be resolved informally, the Chief Executive will ask the complainant to put full details of the complaint in writing (assistance with this can be provided if necessary), if they have not already done so, and will undertake an investigation. A written response will be made to the complainant within 15 days of the date of receipt of the written complaint. If the complaint is against the Chief Executive, the Chair of the Board of Trustees will arrange for the complaint to be investigated within the time scales. If the complaint is against the Chair, one of the Honorary Officers will conduct the investigation.
  • If the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the investigation and response, an appeal may be made, within 10 working days of receiving the response, to a Complaints Panel. The Complaints Panel will be two members of Age UK London’s Board of Trustees, who have not been involved in the complaint, and one independent person with relevant experience.
  • The Complaints Panel will meet as soon as is practical to review the paperwork and give the complainant the opportunity to present their case in person. The decision of the Complaints Panel will be given in writing within 10 working days of the appeal hearing. Their decision is final.

3.2. In dealing with complaints:

  • Confidentiality will be maintained during the investigation of any complaint
  • The Chief Executive’s PA will support the Chief Executive in keeping a record of all complaints, the process followed, action taken and will monitor the time limits. 
  • If there is an unavoidable delay in dealing with any part of the process, the complainant will be kept informed in a timely manner in writing
  • The complainant will be offered any help they may need to use the complaints procedure e.g. the opportunity to be accompanied or the use of an interpreter or signer.
  • If a complaint involves a staff member, the complaint will be investigated first before, if appropriate, the disciplinary procedure is applied. 

4. Complaints about other Organisations

4.1. Sometimes, complaints are made to Age UK London about another organisation or about an Age UK organisation. In such cases, staff should explain that the other organisation is independent, will have its own complaints process and provide relevant contact details. A record of the complaint and action should be kept.

5. Follow up

5.1. If an external complaint is upheld, Age UK London will take the appropriate corrective action to ensure higher standards in future. 

5.2. All complaints will be recorded and reviewed periodically by the Board of Trustees. 

6. Promotion of the Policy

6.1. A simple statement publicising the complaints policy will be included in Age UK London literature. All staff, volunteers and trustees will be familiarised with the policy and procedure during induction