Policy 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 a registered charity). For the purposes of this document ‘The League’ covers both The League and its associated charities.
The League is committed to furthering the best interests of nursing and the nursing profession, afford mutual help and promoting social interaction. 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 the 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. All complaint information will be handled sensitively and confidentially.
Complaints specifically related to The League:
- Where possible acknowledgement of a complaint 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 letter will be written by the person who receives the complaint.
- The person who receives the complaint will discuss the complaint 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.
- A detailed written reply will be sent by the League President within 28 days of the acknowledgement letter. If this is not possible because, for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, an update on progress will be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
- If the complainant 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 prefers a telephone conversation, the League President will decide who will undertake this and two committee members will be present. Following the meeting or conversation a letter will be sent by the League President summarising the content of the meeting or telephone conversation and 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, 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.
- Complaints, negative feedback and positive feedback emailed to the website will be acknowledged by the website manager.
- The website manager will refer the matter to the most appropriate Honorary Officer who will then proceed as above.
Publication of the Procedure for Managing Complaints and Feedback
A brief statement about the procedure will be published in the League News and will refer enquirers to the League website. The full procedure will be available on the public section of the League website.