Policy and Procedure for Managing Complaints and Feedback
This policy is designed for responses to written complaints, negative feedback and positive feedback. The policy applies to The League and also to The Charities in Association with The League of St Bartholomew’s Nurses (i.e. The Benevolent Fund and The Scholarship Funds, which are registered charities). For the purposes of this document ‘The League’ covers both The League and its associated charities.
The League is committed to affording mutual help and promoting social interaction for League members, and furthering the best interests of nursing and the nursing profession. The League has a responsibility to respond to complaints and feedback, whether positive or negative, in an appropriate manner and to take any action required. The Charity Commission states that charities should have a procedure for dealing with complaints and feedback from stakeholders, staff, volunteers and public. The League believes that feedback should also include responding to criticisms and suggestions.
The League views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a chance to put things right for the person or organisation that has made the complaint. A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction with any aspect of The League. A complaint may be received verbally, by telephone, by email or in writing. This Policy and Procedure will also be used in the event of whistleblowing. All information will be handled sensitively and confidentially.
Complaints specifically related to The League:
- Where possible acknowledgement of a complaint or concern by a written letter will be given within 14 days of its receipt. A response may take longer if the committee members who collect the post/reply to emails are on holiday or indisposed for any other reason. A written letter will be sent giving clear timeframes and an explanation of what will happen next. The acknowledgement letter will be written by the person who receives the complaint or concern.
- The person who receives the complaint or concern will discuss it with the League President who will designate two Executive Committee members to investigate the complaint and provide a response. The investigation will not be undertaken by anyone directly involved with the matter identified by the complainant. The League President reserves the right to seek the involvement of a specialist third party if appropriate.
- A detailed written reply will be sent by the League President or designated Officer within 28 days of the acknowledgement letter. If the investigation will not be fully completed in the original timeframe, an update on progress will be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
- If the complainant or whistle blower is not satisfied with the response, he/she will be invited to meet with two League Committee members to discuss further. These Committee members will be designated by the League President. If the complainant or whistleblower would prefer not to meet in person, the designated officers can offer a telephone or virtual meeting. Following the meeting or conversation, a letter will be sent by the League President summarising the content of the meeting, telephone or virtual meeting, confirming the decisions reached. The letter will also list any action(s) taken and a timeframe for review of the outcome of such action(s).
- Complaints or concerns outcomes, actions and review timeframes will be shared with committee members and recorded in the minutes of the appropriate meeting (i.e. Executive Committee meeting, Benevolent Fund Committee meeting or Scholarship Funds Committee meeting).
Negative feedback may include comments about a League activity or be more generalised about nursing or the nursing profession. In the latter case there may not necessarily be a specific complaint about The League.
- Acknowledgement of negative feedback will be given within 14 days of its receipt. This will be done by the person who receives the feedback and may be by letter, telephone or email. This person will explain that the matter will be discussed at the next relevant committee meeting and the date of the meeting will be given. If there is no acknowledgement within 14 days, an explanation for the delay will be given, including a timeframe for a response. An acknowledgement within 14 days is not always possible if, for example, relevant League members are on holiday.
- Negative feedback will be shared with committee members and recorded in the minutes of the appropriate meeting (i.e. Executive Committee meeting, Benevolent Fund Committee meeting or Scholarship Funds Committee meeting).
- A response will always be given by a designated committee member within 14 days of the committee meeting. This will be by letter.
- Positive feedback will be shared with committee members and recorded in the minutes of the appropriate meeting (i.e. Executive Committee meeting, Benevolent Fund Committee meeting or Scholarship Funds Committee meeting).
- If it is agreed that personal acknowledgement is required, a designated committee member will undertake this task. This will be by telephone, letter or email.
League Website and Social Media
- Complaints, negative feedback and positive feedback about the website should be acknowledged by the website manager.
- The Website Manager and League President will refer the matter to the most appropriate Honorary Officer who will then proceed as above.
- Complaints, negative feedback and positive feedback regarding social media, if received on social media will be forwarded to the League President.
Publication of the Procedure for Managing Complaints and Feedback
This Policy will be published in the League News and will refer enquirers to the League website, where the full Policy and Procedure will be published.
Revised July 2022
Review September 2024