Complaints Policy Rights of Complaint 1.1 All clients and potential clients should be informed that there is a formal complaints procedure and that this is available in writing on request from the Counselling Services Coordinator. 1.2 MANKIND UK follow a simple process for each of their categories of customer complaint. Complaint about a member of staff Complaint about customer service (Internal complaints follow MANKIND UK’s Policies and Procedures for Staff) Service Standards 2.1 It is MANKIND UK’s aim to provide clients with counselling and psychotherapy to enable a move towards an emotionally healthy society. 2.2 MANKIND UK staff are continually trained to deliver a high value of customer service in order to create a professional and positive customer experience. When you contact MANKIND UK, we are committed to: Being courteous and professional at all times Providing as much information and advice as possible Observing privacy and confidentiality in all matters Monitoring and evaluating our performance Providing a high quality service at all times 2.3 Complaints are investigated thoroughly according to the complaints procedure outlined in this document. Methods of Complaint 3.1 Before a formal complaint is submitted, a service user may meet with the CEO, or another suitable member of the trustee board should the complaint be about the CEO, to communicate their grievance verbally. In this instance the CEO will be accompanied by another suitable member of staff and the complainant will be advised to bring a friend, supporter, union representative or independent advocate (See 5.). The contents of the meeting shall be minuted and if a resolution not found then the complainant will be notified of the formal complaints procedure. 3.2 Formal complaints must, where possible, be made in writing and should provide the following details: The reason for the complaint When and where it happened The name(s) of anyone involved (if known) What outcome the complainant is hoping for Complainant’s contact details If there exists a barrier to the service user personally making a complaint in writing, such as physical or other disability; learning difficulties; limited English literacy; or other significant difficulty, the service user may request the assistance of a member of staff to assist them. This assistance should be provided within a reasonable period of time following the request, taking into account staff availability and safety. Where it is considered that assistance in person may put the member of staff at risk, or for other reasons of limited staff availability, this assistance may be given to the service user by telephone, at the discretion of the staff team. 3.3 Complaints must be submitted within one calendar year of the incident taking place. 3.4 Any service user complaint should be submitted by post to: Mankind, 1 Brunswick Road, Hove BN3 1DG Or by email to: [email protected] 3.5 At all stages of a complaint being made, the complainant will be informed that Mankind is an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy which has a Complaints Procedure which service users may have recourse to at any time and can be found at: http://www.bacp.co.uk/crs/complaints.php The BACP can be contacted at: British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy BACP House 15 St John’s Business Park Lutterworth Leicestershire LE17 4HB Telephone No: 01455 883300 Email: [email protected] Website: http://www.bacp.co.uk/crs/complaints.php Procedure for Handling a Formal Complaint Stage One – Review by the CEO 4.1 At the first instance the complaints procedure starts locally with the CEO. Should the CEO be the subject of the complaint, and/or the complainant has already met with the CEO as part of a pre formal verbal grievance, the complainant may circumvent Stage One and commence their complaint at Stage Two 4.2 The CEO will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within five working days and carry out a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding it. 4.3 The complainant will be invited, should they wish to, to meet with the CEO to discuss the complaint and explore the options available for resolution. The CEO will be accompanied by another suitable member of staff and the complainant will be advised to bring a friend, supporter, union representative or independent advocate. 4.4 The target time for responding in full to a complaint is 25 working days, though if the issue is complicated, any delay must be explained. 4.5 If the complaint is upheld, the complainant should receive a full apology and, where appropriate, be given details of any action that the service was able to take to retrieve the situation or at least put things right for the future. 4.6 The letter sent to the complainant informing them of the outcome of the investigation into their complaint at Stage One must also inform them of their right to ask for a review of the investigation should they not be satisfied with the outcome of Stage One. Details with how to do this must be provided. 4.7 The complainant must also be informed that Mankind is an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy which has a Complaints Procedure which service users may have recourse to at any time as detailed in 3.4. Stage Two – Review by the Complaints Panel 4.8 If the complainant is still not satisfied they may ask that the complaint be passed to the Board of Trustees for review. The Chair of the Trustees will set up a Complaints Panel consisting of at least one trustee and at least one independent 3rd party person who has not so far been involved in the complaint. This panel will strive to meet the complainant and the person or persons against whom the complaint has been made within 28 days to clarify their concerns. A friend, supporter, union representative or independent advocate may accompany any such persons. 4.9 After a subsequent meeting of this panel to consider the issues, the complainant and the person or persons against whom the complaint has been made will be written to, detailing the decision of the panel and any recommendations, within 10 working days. 4.10 The decision of the panel will be considered final and no further correspondence will be entered into. However, should the complainant not fully understand the decision of the panel, they will be given the opportunity to meet with a member of the panel to have the decision explained to them. This will not be considered as an appeal and no further information relating to the complaint can be submitted. The point of the meeting would be to clarify the decision making process of the panel. 4.11 The complainant must also be informed that Mankind is an organisational member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy which has a Complaints Procedure which service users may have recourse to at any time as detailed in 3.4. Use of an Advocate Should a complainant wish to use the services of an advocate, they (or the advocate) will need to supply the following information. Name of advocate and advocacy service Full contact details of advocate and preferred contact route Written permission for the advocate to act on the complainants behalf Terms of the advocacy agreement Mankind shall contact the advocate to discuss the terms of the advocacy agreement to establish how the complainant wishes the advocate to represent for them. This will be able to be amended/changed at any time on the request of the complainant.