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Representations and Complaints

THE POLICY

CCPAS is committed to providing high quality services. We value feedback and our staff and trustees are encouraged by positive comments when services have been exceptional. We also appreciate comments and suggestions to help us improve the services we provide. Equally, when something has gone wrong we need to hear about this too, so that we can put things right where this is necessary and learn from any mistakes.

CCPAS therefore take representations and complaints about our work and quality of service seriously. We view complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve the support and services that we provide.  If you are not satisfied with the service you have received, please follow the procedure below.

Our aims are:

  • to provide a fair procedure which is clear and easy to use
  • to be open about how we will deal with complaints
  • to ensure that all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way
  • to resolve complaints as near to the point of service delivery wherever possible
  • to gather information in order to improve our service

For the purpose of these procedures, a complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction about any aspect of the services provided. The Representation & Complaints Procedure may be accessed by any person who has directly received a service from CCPAS. It may not be accessed by third parties with whom there has been no legitimate connection for the provision of services (i.e. complaints can only be brought by the person directly receiving a service about which they are dissatisfied).

All complaints information will be handled sensitively and stored securely, sharing information on a ‘need to know’ basis and in accordance with the CCPAS Data Protection Policy.

THE PROCEDURE

Informal Resolution

In many cases, issues are best resolved by the person responsible for the matter that is causing concern. If such a concern has been received by that person, we expect that all reasonable efforts will have been made to resolve it swiftly if possible and appropriate (informal resolution). However we appreciate that this isn’t always possible or appropriate and we therefore have the following three stage process in order to deal with all formal complaints raised:

Stage One

Initially, the complaint should be made to the line manager of the person who is subject to the complaint (or if the complaint is regarding general service provision rather than the actions of an individual, then the complaint should be made to the Head of Department for the service provided). The complainant should make contact with the CCPAS Head Office via the main switchboard on 0845 120 4550 or via [email protected] if unsure who the appropriate person to complain to is. All telephone conversations will be confirmed in writing with the complainant to ensure accuracy and transparency. The complaint will be acknowledged and responded to within two working weeks (i.e. 10 working days) and a copy of this Representation & Complaints Policy and Procedure will be supplied.

Within this timescale, the line manager/Head of Department will do the following:

  • make all necessary and appropriate enquiries to establish the substance of the complaint and any attempts already made to resolve the matter informally, ensuring that all attempts at informal resolution have already been made
  • form a view and decide who the best person to respond to the complaint would be
  • where necessary, initiate discussions or meetings with the complainant to fully understand their issue, seek clarity and be clear on what would constitute a resolution for them
  • arrange any necessary mediation between the parties and any necessary, subsequent action(s)

It is hoped that an acceptable resolution can be found and the complaint can be concluded to the complainant’s satisfaction at this level. However if this is not the case, the complainant must inform the line manager/Head of Department within 2 working weeks (i.e. 10 working days) of their desire to initiate stage two, which will be progressed as follows:

Stage Two

At stage two, the details of the complaint and actions taken at stage one will be passed to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)*. The CEO will:

  • acknowledge receipt of the stage two complaint and that they are reviewing details within one working week (i.e. 5 working days)
  • make it clear when a response can be expected.  The aim will be for complainants to receive a definitive reply within four working weeks (i.e. 20 working days). If this is not possible because, for example, an investigation has not been fully completed or a statutory holiday falls within the timescale, a further communication will be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
  • review all documentation and the actions taken so far and discuss with the complainant the situation from their perspective and why resolution could not be reached.  All conversations will be confirmed in writing and shared with the complainant
  • discuss the same with the line manager/Head of Department and consider what, within the framework of CCPAS policy and if necessary , the law, could be a way forward to resolve the issue at hand
  • where necessary, take advice from the Board of Trustees in order to formulate a response for the complainant and any necessary action

The reply (within 20 working days where possible) to the complainant will inform them of the action(s) taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.

Again, hopefully the complaint can be resolved at this level, but if not then the complainant must notify the CEO within 2 working weeks (i.e. 10 working days) of their desire to move to stage 3, which will be progressed as follows:

Stage Three - Appeal

If the complainant remains unsatisfied after the stage two process has been completed, they have the right to request an appeal to the Board of Trustees (via the Company Secretary**), who will convene an appeals panel.  The Board of Trustees will elect an Appeal Chair to hear the complaint at stage 3. Once the request has been received to progress to stage 3, the elected Appeal Chair (who will not have been involved in any previous stage) will acknowledge the request for appeal within two working weeks (i.e. 10 working days).  The process undertaken at stages one and two will be reviewed and the Appeal Chair may choose to talk to the parties concerned to gain clarification on the issues.

A final decision and any action deemed necessary will be communicated to the complainant and the Company Secretary by the Appeal Chair within six working weeks (i.e. 30 working days).

Monitoring and Learning from Complaints

The number and outcome of any complaints will be reported to the Board of Trustees (Performance, Risk, Audit & Review Committee) periodically to identify any trends which may indicate a need to take further action.

*  Contact with the CEO can be made by telephone (0845 120 4550) or in writing. Please write (marking your envelope ‘Strictly Confidential - Addressee Only’) to:

Chief Executive Officer

CCPAS

PO Box 133

Swanley

Kent

BR8 7UQ

** Contact with the Company Secretary can be made by telephone (0845 120 4550) or in writing. Please write (marking your envelope ‘Strictly Confidential - Addressee Only’) to:

Company Secretary

CCPAS

PO Box 133

Swanley

Kent

BR8 7UQ