1. The Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) Association 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.
2. Our policy is:
(a) To provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone wishing to make a complaint.
(b) To publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to contact us to make a complaint.
(c) To ensure that staff employed by the Association and the Trustees know what to do if a complaint is received.
(d) To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely manner.
(e) To make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships are repaired/maintained.
(f) To gather information which helps us to improve what we do.
Definition of a Complaint
3. A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about any aspect of the QARANC Association.
Where Complaints Come From
4. Complaints may come from any person or organisation that has a legitimate interest in the QARANC Association. A complaint can be received in person, by phone, by email or by letter. All complaints should initially be dealt with by the General Secretary of the Association, who will acknowledge, in writing within ten working days, the receipt of any complaint. The address for making a complaint will be published on the QARANC Association website, as well as being promulgated to branches.
5. Complaints may arrive through channels publicised for that purpose or through any other contact details or opportunities the complainant may have.
6. Complaints received by telephone or in person need to be recorded in writing. The person who receives a phone or in person complaint should:
(a) Write down the facts of the complaint.
(b) Take the complainant’s name, address and telephone number.
(c) Note down the relationship of the complainant to Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps Association (for example: Association member, beneficiary).
(d) Tell the complainant that we have a complaints procedure.
(e) Tell the complainant what will happen next and how long it will take.
(f) Where appropriate, ask the complainant to send a written account by post or by email so that the complaint is recorded in the complainant’s own words.
Resolving Complaints: Stage One
7. In many cases, a complaint is best resolved by the person responsible for the issue being complained about. If the complaint has been received by that person, they may be able to resolve it swiftly and should do so if possible and appropriate. Whether or not the complaint has been resolved, the complaint information should be passed to The Chair of the Board of Trustees QARANC Association within 5 (five) working days. On receiving the complaint the Chair of the Board of Trustees records it in the complaints log.
8. If it has not already been resolved, they delegate an appropriate person to investigate it and to take appropriate action. If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a fair opportunity to respond. Complaints should be acknowledged by the person handling the complaint within 10 working days. The acknowledgement should say who is dealing with the complaint and when the person complaining can expect a reply which must be within 28 days. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given. Whether the complaint is justified or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint.
Resolving Complaints: Stage Two
9. If the complainant feels that the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved at Stage One, they can request that the complaint is reviewed by the President of the QARANC Association. At this stage, the complaint will be passed to Chief Nursing Officer (Army).
10. The request for the intervention of the President should be acknowledged within 7 days of receipt. The acknowledgement should say who will deal with the case and when the complainant can expect a reply. They may investigate the facts of the case themselves or delegate a suitably senior person to do so. This may involve reviewing the paperwork of the case and speaking with the person who dealt with the complaint at Stage One. If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a further opportunity to respond. The person who dealt with the original complaint at Stage One should be kept informed of what is happening. Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within four weeks. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
11. Whether the complaint is upheld or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any action taken as a result of the complaint. The decision taken at this stage is final, unless the Board decides it is appropriate to seek external assistance with resolution.
Resolving Complaints: External Stage
12. The complainant can complain to the Charity Commission at any stage. Information about the kind of complaints the Commission can involve itself in can be found on their website at: www.charitycommission.gov.uk/publications/cc47.aspx .
Variation of the Complaints Procedure
13. The Board may vary the procedure for good reason. This may be necessary to avoid a conflict of interest, for example, a complaint about the Chair should not also have the Chair as the person leading a Stage Two review.
Monitoring and Learning from Complaints
14. Complaints will be recorded on a Complaints Log which will include the date raised and date the case was closed with the outcome.
15. Complaints are reviewed annually or more often if required to identify any trends which may indicate a need to take further action.
16. Overall responsibility for this policy and its implementation lies with the Board of Trustees. The Chair of the Board of Trustees will keep the Board informed of the number and nature of complaints, and the outcomes, reporting to the Board on this at least annually.
(Version 2018.1 updated February 2018)