This is the Pharmacist Support complaints policy and procedure.
1.1 This document sets out the policy and procedures for making a complaint about any aspect of the Charity. It also gives details of external bodies to whom complaints can be made.
1.2 There is a separate policy for appeals regarding applications for financial assistance – see Appeals policy and procedure.
1.3 This policy does not apply to the Charity’s employees who should use the Grievance procedure if they have a grievance or complaint to do with their work or the people with whom they work.
1.4 Volunteers with a complaint should also see the Volunteer policy.
2. Dealing with complaints
2.1 Complaints may be received about Pharmacist Support services, activities, including fundraising and marketing, or any other aspect of the charity or a member of its staff or a volunteer.
2.2 Pharmacist Support takes any complaint extremely seriously. All complaints will be dealt with fairly and in a timely manner. It is our intention that complaints are resolved to the satisfaction of all parties and that lessons are learned and used to inform and improve our practice.
2.3 All staff, volunteers and Trustees will be informed about the complaints policy and procedure and how to deal with a complaint if they receive one.
2.4 The Charity will respond to all complaints, whether informal or through the formal complaints procedure.
3. Informal complaints
3.1 Pharmacist Support recognises that a complaint may be received via an informal route, for example, in person, by telephone, through social media or via a feedback survey. Where the complainant’s contact details are available, the complaint will be acknowledged as soon as possible and passed to the appropriate person – see the Responsibility for responses to complaints section – who will contact the complainant within five working days to attempt to resolve the issue at this stage. The complaint and outcome of the response will be recorded and the complainant given details of how to make a formal complaint if they are not satisfied with the response.
4. Formal complaints procedure
4.1 The complaints procedure is intended to be fair, clear and easy to use. There are two stages and details of who will deal with a complaint at each stage are given in the appropriate sections below.
4.2 Stage 1
4.2.1 Written complaints should be sent to the Charity office and be passed to the appropriate person who will:-
· record the complaint
· acknowledge the complaint within five working days and inform the complainant of when they should receive a response and from whom. This should normally be within a further ten working days
· respond to the complaint.
4.2.2 The appropriate person should investigate, including speaking to any other relevant individuals and respond. If it is not possible to respond fully within the timescale, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a final response will be sent. The response should set out what was done to investigate the complaint and what conclusion(s) were drawn and should detail any resulting actions taken.
4.3 Stage 2
4.3.1 If the complainant is not satisfied with the response, they can ask for their complaint to be reconsidered. They should request this in writing providing details of why they are still dissatisfied and send to the Charity office.
4.3.2 The request and complaint will be passed to the relevant person who will respond to the appeal within 10 working days of receiving it. If it is not possible to respond fully within this timescale, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a final response will be sent.
4.3.3 This decision is final.
5. Complaining to an external body
5.1 At the conclusion of stage 2, the complainant will also be given details of appropriate external bodies to whom they can address their complaint if they are still not satisfied.
6. Responsibility for responses to complaints
6.1 Complaints about services
6.1.1 Complaints about the Charity’s services will be dealt with in the first instance by the Services Manager. A complaint that goes to stage 2 will be dealt with by the Chief Executive.
6.2 Complaints about fundraising activities
6.2.1 Complaints about the Charity’s fundraising will be dealt with in the first instance by the Data Protection Officer. A complaint that goes to stage 2 will be dealt with by the Chief Executive.
6.3 Complaints about marketing
6.3.1 Complaints about the Charity’s marketing activities will be dealt with in the first instance by the Marketing Manager. A complaint that goes to stage 2 will be dealt with by the Chief Executive.
6.4 Complaints about a member of staff, volunteer or Trustee
6.4.1 Complaints about a member of the Charity’s staff, a volunteer or a Trustee will be dealt with in the first instance by the Chief Executive, unless the Chief Executive is the subject of the complaint, in which case the complaint will be dealt with by the Chair or a Trustee nominated to deal with complaints, and this will be the only stage. A complaint that goes to stage 2 will be dealt with by the Chair or a nominated Trustee. Where the Chair is the subject of the complaint, a nominated Trustee will deal with the complaint.
6.5 Other complaints:
6.5.1 All other complaints will be dealt with in the first instance by the Chief Executive. A complaint that goes to stage 2 will be dealt with by a nominated Trustee.
7. External bodies
7.1 There are a number of external bodies that can deal with complaints about certain issues. The list here is not exhaustive, but includes key bodies.
7.2 The Charity Commission (CC) registers and regulates charities in England and Wales and serious concerns about a charity can be reported to it. There is a form on the CC website for this purpose: https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-charity
7.3 For complaints relating to fundraising, a complainant can contact the Fundraising Regulator (FR). Pharmacist Support is registered with the FR, who requires that complainants should take up their complaint with the organisation in question, prior to raising it with the FR and sets time limits for the raising of and responding to complaints. https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/make-a-complaint/complaints/
7.4 For complaints about advertising, the complainant can contact the Advertising Standards Authority. https://www.asa.org.uk/
7.5 For complaints about information rights practice, for example, unwanted marketing, concerns about how an organisation has handled someone’s personal data, problems accessing information and data protection issues, the complainant can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office. https://ico.org.uk/concerns/
7.6 To make a complaint about a limited company or to report fraud, complainants can contact Companies House. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house/about/complaints-procedure