Juno Womens' Aid Complaints & Compliments Policy
Purpose of the policy
The purpose of this policy is to describe the way Juno Women’s Aid will respond to complaints received from service users, anyone acting on their behalf, agencies and supporters.
Scope of the policy
This policy applies to all complaints received in relation to staff, volunteers, trustees, individual services, fundraising and marketing activities and the organisation. The complaint can be from anyone who is receiving or has requested a service from Juno Women’s Aid, anyone acting on their behalf e.g. relatives or friends, agencies and supporters.
Juno Women’s Aid will not investigate complaints received from perpetrators.
Juno Women’s Aid is committed to providing services of the highest quality. We welcome feedback, both positive and negative, to ensure that
everyone receives the best possible service and to enable Juno Women’s Aid to learn, improve and develop future service provision.
We recognise that from time to time we get things wrong and where we become aware of this, we will act quickly to put things right. We aim to resolve problems to the satisfaction of all concerned in an informal way. This might be done by the Support Worker who receives the feedback or a manager. Problems might be resolved by way of an apology, by a service being offered or an acceptable explanation provided as to why a service cannot be offered.
Where it is not possible to resolve a problem informally, for example because the problem is more serious, the procedure below describes how to make a formal complaint and how Juno Women’s Aid will deal with any complaint received. We take all complaints seriously.
Publicising the Complaints Policy
Juno Women’s Aid will actively promote the Complaints Policy via our website and in our marketing information for survivors and professionals in hard and electronic formats.
Juno Women’s Aid will maintain a register of all complaints, the outcome of each investigation, lessons learned and action taken. Complaints will be reported to the Board of Trustees by the Chief Executive who will produce an annual audit report of all complaints.
Complaints are also reported to our Local Authority and Office of Police and Crime Commissioners who fund our commissioned services.
If you have a complaint please either:
Email: [email protected]
Or write to: Juno Women’s Aid, Suites 1, 8 & 9 Heathcote Building, Heathcoat Street, Nottingham, NG1 3AA.
Or phone our general number: 0115 947 5257 (10-3pm, Monday-Friday)
Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.
It is important that the complainant is reassured that the information provided will be treated sensitively and only shared within the organisation on a ‘need to know’ basis. Where the complainant is a service user, this will not jeopardise their right to receive a service from Juno Women’s Aid or be considered for a service.
Anyone contacting Juno Women’s Aid asking how to make a complaint will be sent the Complaints Policy and the Making a Complaint information leaflet.
There are two stages to the Complaints Procedure:
Any member of staff receiving a complaint over the phone will reassure the complainant that we take all complaints seriously; note the details of the complaint; take the caller contact details; offer to send the caller a copy of the Complaints Policy.
The member of staff will inform the complainant that the complaint will be forwarded to the relevant Team Leader. At each stage the relevant manager will escalate the complaint to their line manager.
Where the complaint is about the Team Leader, the complaint should be forwarded by the staff member to the relevant Head of Service. Complaints relating to Heads of Service should be forwarded to the Chief Executive Officer.
If the complaint concerns the Chief Executive Officer or a Trustee, it should be forwarded to a Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees.
Written complaint – letter, e-mail or complaint form
All complaints received in writing, by letter, email or completed Complaint Form, must be forwarded to the relevant manager as detailed above.
Service users will be encouraged to complete the Complaint Form and will receive reasonable assistance from a Juno Women’s Aid support worker if required.
A written or telephone acknowledgement will be sent by the investigating manager to the complainant within 3 working days (Monday to Friday), which will:
• Acknowledge that the complaint has been received
• Confirm that the complaint will be investigated
• Include the name of the manager to whom further reference to the comment/ complaint should be made
The relevant manager will ensure the Complaint log is completed including progress of the investigation, the outcome, lessons learned and action to be taken.
The manager will endeavour to meet with the complainant within 10 working days of receipt of the complaint to hear the details of the complaint. The meeting can be face to face or by phone. They will then investigate the matter to find out what happened and why. The investigating manager will establish clear terms of reference for the investigation and how it will be recorded.
If the investigating manager is unable to make contact after 3 varied attempts the complaint will be closed with recordings of the attempts to make contact and the reason for closing without investigation.
The complainant will be informed of the outcome of the investigation within 15 working days from receipt of the complaint. Where the complaint is complex and the investigation takes longer or the investigation is delayed, the complainant will be kept informed of any adjustments to time scales.
Where the complaint is upheld, an apology will be offered and where appropriate, details of any lessons learned and action to be taken to ensure that the matter does not happen again will be given or sent to the complainant.
The investigating manager will be responsible for ensuring that written records of the investigation are made; for any actions and action plan
relating to the outcome of the complaint and for implementation of the action plan.
If a complaint involves a member of staff or volunteer, a decision may be made to deal with the matter under Juno Women’s Aid Disciplinary Policy and any information concerning any internal disciplinary procedures will be confidential.
Complaints that are withdrawn may still be investigated. This will enable Juno Women’s Aid to identify any learning or improvement to be made.
Stage 2 – Appeal
If the complaint cannot be resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction at Stage 1, the complainant can submit an appeal to the Chief Executive Officer or a Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees if the complaint concerns the Chief Executive Officer along with the grounds for the appeal. The appeal should be submitted in writing within 14 days of the date of the outcome letter.
The appeal will be heard by the Chief Executive Office and / or a Trustee. The complainant will be informed in writing of the outcome of the appeal within 10 working days.
If after Juno Women’s Aid has been through the 2 Stages and the complainant is still not satisfied with the result, they should be advised that there is no further right of appeal with Juno Women’s Aid but that they could approach any of the following agencies for advice:
• A solicitor/ Nottingham Law Centre
• Citizen’s Advice Bureau
• Nottingham City Council
• Nottinghamshire County Council
It should also be made clear that if the complainant wishes to get advice before making a complaint or at any stage of the procedure, the agencies listed above may be able to advise or support them.
Staff involved in complaints
In some circumstances it might be appropriate for a staff member to be given other duties, if their presence might affect the investigation or a service user. Members of staff will be informed of complaints against them. The member(s) of staff will be informed of their rights to consult and be represented by their Trade Union during investigation and further discussion
Service user In a refuge situation, if a complaint about the Landlord remains unresolved and the woman remains dissatisfied with a service which is the direct responsibility of the Landlord, the member of staff should be supported in taking her complaint further as specified in the Landlord’s Complaints policy and procedure.
Monitor and review of complaints
Complaints will be categorised as follows:
• Conduct or behaviour of Juno Women’s Aid Staff member
• Quality of support
• Service availability
• Other (including withdrawn complaints)
Once resolved, the complaint action plan will be reviewed to ensure that any recommendations made can be implemented appropriately. A register of complaints will be kept centrally with brief details of the complaint, the type of complaint, whether or not the complaint is upheld, and any actions recommended and undertaken.
Juno Women’s Aid Senior Management Team will review complaints and actions each month and submit a quarterly report to the Quality Assurance sub group of the Board of Trustees.
The Board of Trustees will receive a summary of complaints and actions at each Board meeting, and an annual audit report, which will contain an analysis of complaints received, lessons learned and recommendations for future action.
Compliments and other feedback
Juno Women’s Aid encourages both critical and positive feedback from service users, supporters and agencies. Positive feedback is collated:
· From service users receiving support and agencies we work in partnership with and recorded in service-specific log books
· From the ‘Have Your Say’ feedback forms sent to women on completion of their formal service and recorded in On Track
· From service users on an ongoing basis through various engagement
· From Juno Women’s Aid social media sites
Positive feedback is shared with Juno Women’s Aid staff as evidence of the benefit of their intervention and support. Feedback is also shared anonymously with funders and commissioners, and occasionally on social media.