BSCAH Complaints Policy and Procedure
BSCAH views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve, as well as a chance to put things right for the person or organisation that has made the complaint.
BSCAH policy is:
- to provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint.
- to publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint.
- to ensure everyone at BSCAH knows what to do if a complaint is received.
- to make sure that complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way.
- to make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired.
- to gather information which helps us to improve what we do.
Definition of a complaint:
A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of BSCAH – Administration, Members, Officers, Trustees or any process or service failing to meet the standards set by BSCAH or its regulators.
Members of the Society are responsible and accountable for their own clinical activities and complaints of this nature are investigated by their Registered Professional Body (see appendix 1).
If illegal activity is suspected or involved in a complaint, that is beyond the scope of our procedures, it will be reported to the relevant body. There may be other circumstances where the complaint is deemed to be outside the scope of this policy and in this situation, it is noted in the Complaints Register.
All complaint information will be handled sensitively, telling only those who need to know and following any relevant data protection requirements.
Complaints Handling Procedure:
Your contact with BSCAH can be verbal in the first instance but if a formal complaint is being made this should be either written or electronic
Your contact can be:
1. In person to a Trustee or Society Officer or CEO
2. You can contact the CEO T: 07702492867 E: email@example.com and your issue will be documented
3. You can email the National Office at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. You can write to the National Office, c/o Hollybank House, Lees Road, Mossley. OL5 0PL.
BSCAH will contact you within three* working days of receiving the complaint. If you provide us with a telephone number and/or email address we will contact you by either of those means to discuss the matter further and to officially record all necessary details. Hopefully we can resolve the matter immediately.
However, if the issue is more complex and an investigation is required, BSCAH will do the following.
- Record full details of your complaint.
- Record the complaint in our Complaints Register.
- Note down the relationship of the complainant to BSCAH.
- Assign your complaint to the most appropriate of; CEO, BSCAH Officer, BSCAH Executive Team, BSCAH Trustee.
- The letter of complaint may be shared with the subject of the complaint.
- Take all necessary steps to investigate the matter.
- Contact you again within 20* working days of receiving the complaint to advise you of our findings or to give you an update on progress.
- Continue to keep you informed until the matter is resolved to your satisfaction or until all appropriate steps (in the BSCAH’s reasonable opinion) to resolve the matter have been taken.
BSCAH’s commitment to you is to address each complaint in a sensitive, fair, transparent, equitable, professional, and unbiased manner through the complaints handling process. We will endeavour to keep all parties informed in a manner which inspires confidence and aspires to safeguard the subject, uphold the Society’s reputation, and satisfy the complainant.
We will always operate from the premise that any person is entitled to express their views on our services and that those views should be taken seriously where this is warranted. We will not, however, tolerate any abusive or discriminatory language or behaviour towards any member or representative of BSCAH and may decline to investigate a complaint further in such circumstances.
In many cases a complaint is best resolved by the person responsible for the issue being complained about. If the complaint has been received by that person, they may be able to resolve it swiftly and should do so if possible and appropriate. If the complaint has not been resolved, the complaint information should be passed to the BSCAH CEO.
A Designated Person will investigate and take appropriate action or convene a small sub-group in order so to do. If the subject of the complaint is a member of BSCAH, they will be given the opportunity to comment on the membership of this subgroup. If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a fair opportunity to respond.
Complaints should be acknowledged by the person handling the complaint within five* working days.
The acknowledgement should include.
- who is dealing with the complaint
- when the person complaining can expect a reply.
- A copy of this complaints policy should be attached.
- Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within 20 working days.
- If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
When the complaint is believed to be unjustified, false or malicious an initial response will indicate this and, where appropriate, further information sought from the complainant to aid decision making within the complaints process.
If the complainant feels that the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved at Stage 1, they can request that the complaint is reviewed by the BSCAH Executive Team
- The request for Second level review should be acknowledged within five* working days of receiving it.
- The acknowledgement should say who will deal with the case and when the complainant can expect a reply.
The Executive Team may investigate the facts of the case themselves or delegate a suitably senior person or group of people to do so. This may involve reviewing the paperwork of the case and speaking with the person who dealt with the complaint at Stage 1. The person who dealt with the original complaint at Stage 1 should be kept informed of what is happening.
If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a further opportunity to respond. Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within 20* working days.
If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given. Whether the complaint is upheld or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint. The decision taken at this stage is final, unless the Executive Team decide it is appropriate to seek support from the Board of Trustees who may seek external assistance with resolution.
As BSCAH is a registered charity, the complainant can complain to the Charity Commission Regulator at any stage. Information about the kind of complaints the Charity Commission can involve itself in can be found on their website at: https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-charity.
Review of this Policy and Complaints Received
This policy will be reviewed every 12 months and all complaints received (and compliments) will be brought before the Board of Trustees for review at our regular meetings. Through this process of regular review BSCAH aims to improve our services to you and to ensure that any lessons learned are implemented within the organisation.
Variation of the Complaints Procedure:
The Board of Trustees may vary the procedure for good reason. This may be necessary to avoid a conflict of interest, for example, a complaint about a Chair or trustee should not also have the Chair and/or trustee involved as a person leading a Stage 2 review.
Within the Society the circumstances which may lead to a complaint will define the most appropriate direction for management of that complaint.
Where a complaint is received from a patient or client of a member who has been Accredited by BSCAH, the complainant is directed to the Professional Body with whom the Member is registered. The complaint is passed to the Trustees for information and a decision on further action is taken. The Member is duly notified and asked to inform the CEO of the outcome of the complaint to decide if the Member has contravened either the Ethical Code or the Code of Conduct of the Society in such a way that Membership would be terminated.
The Complaint is added to the Confidential Register of Complaints
Where a complaint is made by a Member about another Member, the complaint is directed to the Board of Trustees unless they are the subject of the complaint, in which case it is passed to the Chair of Trustees for action.
Where a complaint is related to performance within the officer or group member role, action or inaction, the complaint will be heard by the Trustees led by the Chair to consider the complaint, its implications for the Society, and therefore the correct course of action to be taken. Where a Trustee is the subject of the complaint, they will be absented from the group hearing the complaint.
Where a breach of the Society Rules is confirmed, appropriate action will be taken.
Where a breach of the Law is suspected or confirmed, a Member’s Membership is suspended until this is disproven.
Where a breach of the Law is suspected or confirmed, a Trustee’s Trusteeship is suspended until this is disproven.
The Society Complaints procedure and Register of Complaints will be reviewed annually by the Board of Trustees and a report presented to the Members at the AGM with an appropriate level of detail that preserves anonymity and confidentiality. Records and supporting documents of complaints should be destroyed after seven years.
*We will always endeavour to keep to the timescales stipulated in this policy. However, BSCAH is a small charity and sickness, or holidays may delay our response. We will always post an out of office response indicating the potential period of delay where a complaint is notified by email or mobile phone message where we are notified by phone. A complaint will be acknowledged as a priority on our return to normal working.