Complaints Policy

To download the Complaints Policy in PDF format please click here

1 Purpose
1.1 This Policy is intended to ensure that all complaints received by Jersey Hospice Care are handled fairly, efficiently, and effectively and to help Complainants know what steps will be taken to address their complaint
1.2 This Policy is supported by associated Procedures which employees and volunteers are required to adhere to in order to implement this policy

2 Scope
2.1 This Policy provides guidance to patients, relatives and carers, as well as members of the public who wish to make a formal complaint to or about Jersey Hospice Care, regarding our standards of service and activities, our actions or lack of actions, or our employees, volunteers, or those directly involved in the delivery of that service
2.2 Employees or volunteers who wish to make a complaint should follow the Grievance Policy

3 Definition
3.1 The term “complaint” is used throughout this policy to refer to any form of feedback or concern that is raised through any form of communication
3.2 Complaints will therefore be handled depending on:
• the nature of the complaint
• whether or not it can be resolved informally
• whether or not it can be resolved immediately
• the wish of the Complainant
3.3 Not all complaints will result in an investigation or change

4 Making a Complaint
4.1 Jersey Hospice Care commits to making the complaints process easy to access and to support a Complainant in making a complaint if necessary
4.2 Jersey Hospice Care acknowledges that complaints may be received in any of the following ways:
• In person
• Letter
• Email
• Telephone
• Fax
• Social Media post or comment
• Website feedback form
4.3 Complaints may be made to any employee or volunteer
4.4 All complaints will be handled confidentially and in compliance with data protection policies
4.5 Jersey Hospice Care commits to ensuring that where a complaint is raised this will not adversely affect the service or care provided either now or in the future
4.6 Jersey Hospice Care will ensure that the Complaints Policy is accessible to all complainants. Hard copies of the Policy can be made available on request and in large print if required. The Complaint Form will also be made available in hard copy for at Reception in addition to being available on the website

5 Handling a Complaint
5.1 Jersey Hospice Care is committed to ensuring that all complaints are properly and effectively handled and responded to and that learning from the complaint is used to support future practice and quality development.
5.2 Employees or volunteers who receive a complaint will take time to listen and ensure they fully understand the issues being raised, seeking clarification on elements which are unclear
5.3 It is appropriate for the immediate response to be an apology on behalf of Jersey Hospice Care for any distress this issue has caused. Apologies and explanations of adverse events do not alone constitute an admission of liability
5.4 Where possible the issue raised will be handled immediately and informally by the employee or volunteer who receives the complaint
5.5 Should the employee or volunteer be unable to address or rectify the issue raised they will refer the Complainant to a named person at Jersey Hospice Care who can assist further and will respond within 48 hours
5.6 If an investigation is required, usually for complaints which cannot be resolved within 48 hours, the Complainant will be kept informed of how the complaint is being handled and when to expect a response
5.7 Investigations will be undertaken by a Manager who has not previously been involved in the service or action that has been complained about or, if appropriate, the Director of that service area
5.8 The Complainant will be informed of the outcome of the investigation and what actions have been taken to address or rectify the issues raised
5.9 All complaints will be recorded on the Jersey Hospice Care internal complaints log which be regularly monitored and reviewed in order to ensure learning and the future improvement of services

6 Timescale
6.1 A complaint should normally be brought within three months of the event(s) concerned or three months of the subject matter of the complaint coming to the attention of the complainant
6.2 Complaints received should be acknowledged within 5 working days
6.3 Where a complaint can be addressed informally this should be done within 48 hours
6.4 If further investigation is required, the Complainant will be informed within 5 working days of the complaint being made that this will take place and that they should expect an outcome within 20 workings days
6.5 In the unlikely event that it is necessary to extend this period of investigation, the Complainant will be informed of the extension and when an outcome can be expected.

7 Learning from Feedback and Complaints
7.1 Jersey Hospice Care is committed to continuous improvement and uses feedback as part of its quality assurance processes
7.2 Feedback and learning arising from complaints will be shared with the Council of Trustees who will be responsible for ensuring that, where necessary, action is taken, and changes are monitored
7.3 In order to learn from feedback and complaints Jersey Hospice Care will ensure that it:
• Reviews and analyses all concerns and complaints it receives about its services and activities;
• Takes action to improve issues as a result of individual complaints or feedback;
• Takes action to improve service delivery or activities as a result of analysis of trends from complaints data; and
• Reports the number, type and outcome of complaints received to the Council of Trustees (and relevant sub-committees) and made available to employees through Team meetings

8 Accountabilities and Escalation
8.1 If it is not possible for a complaint to be resolved immediately or of the Complainant feels that their complaint has not been suitably addressed, the Complainant may escalate their complaint to the appropriate lead for each service area
8.2 Clinical complaints can be escalated to the Director of Palliative Care Services
8.3 Complaints regarding income generation (fundraising and events) or other engagement activities can be escalated to the Director of Income Generation
8.4 Complaints regarding premises, equipment and retail activities can be escalated to the Director of Operations and Business Development
8.5 All other complaints can be escalated to the Director of Governance
8.6 If, following the outcome of an investigation, the Complainant is dissatisfied with the way that this policy and procedure has been followed, or feels that their complaint has not been adequately address, the Complainant may refer their complaint to the appropriate regulatory body
8.7 The appropriate regulatory bodies are:
• Jersey Care Commission
• Jersey Charity Commission
• Office of the Information Commissioner
• Trading Standards

9 Unreasonable or Persistent Complaints
9.1 Every effort will be made to resolve a complaint a Complainant is described as being unreasonable
9.2 A complainant who displays threatening or abusive behaviour or language (whether verbal or written), that causes employees to feel afraid, threatened or abused and /or continues to contact Jersey Hospice Care with unreasonable demands following a complaint investigation, may be considered an unreasonable or persistent complainant
9.3 Examples of unreasonable demands can include seeking excessive amounts of information, demanding an unrealistic nature or scale of service, or seeking to prolong contact with Jersey Hospice Care by continually raising new issues throughout an investigation
9.4 The Executive Committee will be made aware of any such Complainants and will make a decision regarding whether or not this is considered to be unreasonable activity and at which point no further complaints on this matter will be accepted
9.5 The Executive Committee will inform the Council of Trustees of this decision in a timely manner.