1. Homeopathy UK
- is committed to providing a good standard of quality services to patients, partners, public and organisations
- will take seriously any concern or complaint and will review promptly, and thoroughly to find a resolution as quickly as possible
- recognises that all patients, members of the public, agencies and organisation have the right to raise concerns or complaints about our services and have access to clear information on how to voice complaints and concerns
- concerns and complaints procedure is open to everyone who receives or requests a service from Homeopathy UK and people acting on their behalf
- will process complaints in line with Homeopathy UK’s Confidentiality policy
- will keep a register of all complaints, which will be reviewed regularly by the Council of Homeopathy UK
- complaints procedure will be part of the process of monitoring the quality, effectiveness and non-discriminatory nature of its services
All staff, practitioners, contractors, volunteers and Trustees are required to read, understand and comply with this policy and its procedures.
2.1 Homeopathy UK strives for high standards in service delivery and welcomes feedback from individuals, users of our services, stakeholders, funding bodies and anyone who works with us, on all aspects of our services. Such feedback is invaluable in helping us evaluate and improve our work.
2.2 The objectives of Homeopathy UK Complaints policy and procedures are to:
- Ensure everyone knows how to make a complaint and how a complaint will be handled
- Ensure that complaints are managed consistently, fairly and sensitively within clear time frames
- Provide individuals and organisations with a fair and effective way to complain about our work
- Ensure that complaints are monitored to improve our services
2.3 Homeopathy UK will ensure that we:
- Listen carefully to complaints and treat complaints as confidential, where possible
- Record, store and manage all complaints accurately and in accordance with GDPR
- 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
- Report on an annual basis, the number of complaints received, the outcomes and any actions taken
3. Definition of a complaint
3.1 A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction by an individual or organisation.
3.2 An individual or organisation may make a complaint if they feel Homeopathy UK has:
- Failed to provide a service or an acceptable standard of service or made a mistake in the way the service was provided
- Failed to act in a proper way
- Provided an unfair service
3.3 This policy and procedure relates only to complaints received about Homeopathy UK and its services.
4. Concern or Complaint
4.1 It is important to establish the difference between a concern and a complaint. Taking informal concerns seriously at the earliest stage will reduce the likelihood that they develop into formal complaints.
4.2 If you have any concerns about our work please tell the member of staff or practitioner for which you have a concern, or their manager as soon as possible. They can then have the opportunity to quickly understand your concerns and try to put things right.
4.3 If you are not happy with the response to your concern and/or you want to make a formal complaint please follow the procedure below.
5. Complaints Procedure
5.1 Homeopathy UK aims to settle the majority of complaints quickly and satisfactorily. The complaint may be resolved quickly by way of an apology or by an acceptable explanation to the complainant..
5.2 There are three stages to the complaint’s procedure:
Stage One – the complaint
Stage Two – investigation
Stage Three – appeal
6. Stage One - Complaint
6.1 The complaint can be written or if the individual prefers they can speak to someone at Homeopathy UK or someone else, who will write it down for them. The complainant will need to sign the complaint
6.2 Individuals wishing to make a complaint should contact the appropriate line manager for the service/staff member which is the subject of the complaint. Alternatively, you can contact us by writing to: Homeopathy UK, Complaints, CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Road, London, N1 6AH.
6.3 The complaint should include the complainant’s name and address, the nature and date of the complaint and how they want to see it resolved.
6.4 On receipt, each complaint will be allocated a reference number and logged on the complaints register. Complainants must receive an acknowledgement within 10 working days of receipt of a signed complaint
7. Stage Two - Investigation
7.1 All complaints at this stage should be processed by a manager. If they need to meet with the complainant, they will do so within fourteen working days of receiving the written complaint.
7.2 Complaints will be fully investigated, and a written response provided to the complainant within twenty one working days by the investigator.
7.3 The complainant will receive written confirmation of the outcome of any investigation any recommendations/remedies made, such as reviewing of policies, staff development and training or appropriate improvement to our services.
7.4 Where the complaint is upheld an apology will be offered.
7.5 Occasionally investigations may take longer, particularly if the complaint is complex. Should this be the case a holding letter will be sent after fourteen working days and a final date will be provided for a conclusion to be reached.
7.6 If an individual remains dissatisfied with the outcome from Stage Two they can appeal within fourteen working days of the date of the outcome and progress to Stage Three.
7.7 The complaints register will be updated, and any pending complaints flagged so they are followed up.
8. Stage Three - Appeal
8.1 If the complaint cannot be resolved to the complainant’s satisfaction at stage two, or if the manager feels that the complaint is of a very serious nature, or concerns a manager then it will be referred to the Chief Executive.
8.2 If the complaint is about the Chief Executive then the matter will be discussed with two Trustees.
8.3 The Chief Executive and/or Trustees will acknowledge receipt within five working days, they will review the Stage Two investigation and recommend one of the following actions within twenty one working days (from the date the complainant stated they wanted to take the complaint to stage 3):
Uphold the action taken at Stage Two
Make changes to the Stage Two recommendation/actions
8.4 The complainant should be informed in writing of the outcome of stage three, the decision reached about this complaint will then be final but other options available to the complainant (as listed below) should be detailed in the letter.
8.5 If after Homeopathy UK has been through the three stages and the complainant is still not satisfied with the result, they should be advised that there is no further right of appeal with Homeopathy UK but they could approach any of the following agencies for advice:
Citizens Advice Bureau
This should be done within one month of receiving the outcome from the appeal.
9. Anonymous complaints
9.1 Complaints received anonymously will be recorded and considered, but action may be limited if further information is required to ensure a full and fair investigation.
10. Data protection
10.1 To process a complaint Homeopathy UK will hold personal data about the complainant, which the individual provides, and which other people give in response to the complaint. We will hold this data securely and only use it to address the complaint. The identity of the person making the complaint will only be known to those who need to consider the complaint and will not be revealed to other people or made public. However, it may not be possible to preserve confidentiality in some circumstances, for example, where relevant legislation applied or allegations are made which involve the conduct of third parties.
10.2 Homeopathy UK will normally destroy complaints files in a secure manner six years after the complaint has been closed.
11.1 Complaints are an important tool which, alongside data provided by patient surveys, stakeholder surveys etc. will allow us 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. To ensure we can learn from complaints the following data will be collected:
- Name and address
- Name of person dealing with the complaint
- Date of complaint and response
- Nature of complaint
- Action(s) taken/recommendations made in response to the complaint Lessons learnt
11.2 Complaints information will be considered on a regular basis by the Management Team and reported annually to Homeopathy UK Council. Wherever possible the data will be used to improve and develop the service.