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Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure

1  Policy Statement

 1.1   Portsmouth Disability Forum believe that compliments and complaints are a valuable indicator of quality of service and an opportunity to refine our performance.

1.2   It is our policy that all matters which disturb or upset our users should be reported, recorded and corrective action taken. Only in this way can we work towards meeting our aim of continuously improving our service.

1.3   Equally, when our users are pleased with the service they receive because of a member of our staff, we like to pass this on; not only is it motivational for the member of staff concerned, it can also be useful in developing other members of the team.

2  Objectives

2.1   The objectives of the PDF’s Compliments and Complaints Policy are to:

  • ensure everyone knows how to provide feedback and how a complaint will be handled
  • ensure that complaints are dealt with consistently, fairly and sensitively within clear time frames
  • provide individuals with a fair and effective way to complain about our work
  • ensure that compliments and complaints are monitored and used to improve our service

2.2   PDF will ensure that we:

  • treat respectfully all compliments and complaints as confidential, where possible
  • record, store and manage all complaints accurately and in accordance with the Data Protection Act
  • investigate the complaint fully, objectively and within the stated time frame
  • notify the complainant of the results of the investigation and any right of appeal
  • inform the complainant of any action that will be implemented in order to ensure that there is no re-occurrence

3  Procedure

3.1   Compliments

3.2   Any verbal or written compliments will be recorded by the member of staff receiving the compliment and be passed to the appropriate manager for recording on the Compliments Register. Any member of staff identified as being the subject or contributing to any matter giving rise to the compliment will be notified within three working days. Feedback on compliments will be shared with employees at appropriate timings.

3.3   Complaints

 Stage One   Raising a concern

 Stage Two   Making a formal complaint

 Stage Three   Appealing the outcome of a formal complaint

 Stage Four   Requesting an independent review

3.4   Stage One - Raising a concern

 3.4.1   PDF wishes to know of issues which occur before they become a formal complaint.

 3.4.2  We wish to address the area of concern to ensure that we provide the highest quality of service possible.

3.4.3   A concern can be raised with either the staff member in person or through their service manager, either in person, by phone or in writing.

 3.4.4  The concern will be dealt with in the most appropriate way and action any taken with feedback to the person who identified the concern. If this fails to meet their needs, they have the option to raise the concern to stage two - a formal complaint.

 3.5   Stage Two - Making a formal complaint

 3.5.1   PDF aims to settle the majority of complaints quickly and satisfactorily by the member of staff or the relevant manager who provides the service.

3.5.2   The complaint may be resolved quickly by way of an apology, by providing the service required or by providing an acceptable explanation to the individual.

3.5.3   All complaints will be acted upon with fairness and impartiality.

 3.5.4   Users are entitled to involve an impartial third party in the complaints procedure if they so wish.    

 3.5.5  Individuals wishing to make a complaint should contact the person who provided the service, or their manager. Alternatively they can contact Portsmouth Disability Forum, Frank Sorrell Centre, Prince Albert Rd, Southsea, PO4 9HR.

 3.5.6   If the individual prefers to make a verbal complaint then the person receiving the call will enter details on the ‘Verbal Complaints Form’. If the person is willing to, or asks to, submit a written complaint, the ‘Written Complaints Form’ will be sent to them on the same day.

 3.5.7  On receipt, each complaint will be allocated a unique reference number and logged on the Complaints Register. Details of the complaint will be sent immediately to the service manager.

 3.5.8  Complaints will be acknowledged within three working days. The complaints will be fully investigated and a written response provided to the complainant within 28 working days by the service manager.

 3.5.9  Individuals will be advised that if they are not satisfied with the response to their complaint, they may appeal within 14 working days and progress to stage 2

 3.6   Stage Three - Appealing the outcome of a formal complaint

 3.6.1   PDF will appoint a manager or Trustees to investigate the matter independently and communicate the outcome and any action(s) to the complainant in writing within 20 working days. This person may need to contact the complainant to clarify the issues, conduct the investigation and explore resolution. The complainant will receive written confirmation of the outcome of any investigation and any recommendations/remedies made, such as staff development and training, reviewing of policies or appropriate improvement to PDF services. The outcome should not refer to any individual employees or groups of employees within PDF.

 3.6.2   In some situations the investigations may take longer, particularly if the complaint is complex. Should this be the case a holding letter will be sent after 20 working days and a final date given for a conclusion having been reached.

3.7   Stage Four - Requesting an Independent Review

 3.7.1   If an individual remains dissatisfied with the outcome from Stage Two they may request the involvement of the Chair of Trustees within 14 working days of the date of the outcome and progress to Stage Three.

3.7.2   The Chair of Trustees will review the Stage Two investigation and recommend one of the following actions, within 20 working days:

Uphold the action taken by PDF at Stage Two

Changes to the Stage Two recommendations/actions

4  Responsible officer

4.1   The Principle Officer of PDF is responsible for implementing the Compliments and Complaints Procedure.

5  Monitoring 

5.1   Compliments and complaints are an important tool which, alongside data provided by exit surveys, user feedback and focus groups, will allow PDF to learn about the services we provide. They provide a useful source of information about how individuals see our services and how we are serving them.

6  Approval and Amendment History

  Authorised at Trustees’ Meeting held on

  Amendment History







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