As part of this commitment we have established a complaints procedure the aim of which is to enable individuals and organisations using the service to make suggestions and complaints. Suggestions and complaints can be made both about the services that Rape Crisis provides, and those that it is considered should be provided.
The principles underlying our procedures are as follows:
· Within the remit of our organisation, which provides a service run by women for women, we will plan, provide and deliver services in a non-discriminatory way.
· We will inform users of our services of our Complaints Procedure and enable them to make easy use of it if they wish to do so.
· We will respond to all complaints and suggestions within a prescribed time.
· The Centre Manager will hold the responsibilities of Complaints Officer for the organisation.
· Complaints may be made to any member of staff, including the Centre Manager. Complaints made to members of staff of Rape Crisis other than the Centre Manager will always be referred to, and dealt with by the Centre Manager.
· Complaints will be resolved as quickly as possible.
· Complaints will be dealt with in confidence and in accordance with our Confidentiality Policy.
· If a complainer wishes to challenge a decision or response made to a complaint, they may appeal to a higher level within the organisation and will be given details on how this can be done.
· The complaints procedure will be part of the process of monitoring the quality, effectiveness and non-discriminatory nature of the Rape Crisis Centre’s services. It will be monitored periodically to check its effectiveness and efficiency, and will contribute to organisational planning.
This complaints procedure operates separately from disciplinary procedures for staff.
Whilst the Rape Crisis Centre does not prescribe causes for complaints, examples of possible reasons are laid out below. We will respond to complaints and suggestions about the services we offer, the actions of our staff, and services that have not be received and in the view of the complainer, should have been available.
How a complaint can be made
A complaint can be made verbally to any member of staff. The complaint will be put in writing by the staff member and will then be referred to the Centre Manager.
A complaint can also be made directly to the Centre Manager in writing who will:
· Acknowledge receipt within 4 working days
· Send the complainer a copy of the complaints policy/procedure
· Investigate the complaint
Rape Crisis Centre’s response to the complaint
The complainer will receive a written response to the complaint within two working weeks. If a written reply is inappropriate or insufficient, the complainer will be offered the opportunity to meet with the Centre Manager to discuss the matter in detail in an attempt to meet a satisfactory outcome.
The complainer will be informed in writing of the outcome of any such meeting, normally within two working weeks of the meeting.
Complaints about the Centre Manager should be made directly to the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Rape Crisis Centre.
Making an appeal
If the complainer is not satisfied with the outcome or response to the complaint, the complainer may appeal to the Centre Manager who will review the decision. This should be done within a maximum period of twenty eight days of receiving written notification of the outcome of the complaint.
If the complainer is still dissatisfied s/he can raise the matter directly, through the Chair, with the Board of Directors which will normally appoint a small working group from among its membership, to deal with the complaint. The complainer will be informed of the outcome as quickly as possible.
Once the complaints procedure is exhausted, complainants who are not satisfied with the outcome can submit a complaint to COSCA at:
COSCA (Counselling and Psychotherapy in Scotland)
16 Melville Terrace
At the conclusion of the complaints procedure, the Rape Crisis Centre will send a report to COSCA.
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