Beira’s Place – Edinburgh Women’s Sexual Assault Support Centre aims to provide high quality, accessible services to its service users and others who seek its help and support. As part of this commitment, we have established a complaint 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 the organisation 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 women who use our services of our Complaint 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 Deputy CEO will hold the responsibilities of Complaint Manager for the organisation.
- Complaints may be made to any member of staff, including the Deputy CEO. Complaints made to Beira’s Place staff, other than the Deputy CEO, will always be referred to and dealt with by the Deputy CEO herself.
- 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 organisation’s services. It will be monitored periodically to check its effectiveness and efficiency and will contribute to organisational planning.
This complaint policy and procedure operates separately from disciplinary procedures for staff.
We define a complaint as ‘An expression of dissatisfaction from an individual, whether that complaint is justified or not’.
An individual can make a complaint if they feel that Beira’s Place has failed to provide a service to an acceptable standard or made an error in the way that service was delivered.
Beira’s Place 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.
It’s important to differentiate between ‘concerns’ and ‘complaints’. By addressing any concerns that may be raised about the organisation or services provided by the organisation, Beira’s Place aims to reduce the risk of those concerns becoming more formally submitted as complaints.
Any service user or partner organisation who has concerns about any aspect of the service provided by Beira’s Place should address them as soon as possible to the Deputy CEO who will respond quickly and try to ensure that any issues with service delivery is put right as soon as possible.
If the service user or partner organisation is dissatisfied with the response, a formal complaint can be made following the procedure below.
How a complaint can be made
A complaint can be made verbally to any member of staff. Any complaint submitted to a member of the staff will be put in writing by that staff member and will then be referred to the Deputy CEO.
A complaint can also be made directly to the Deputy CEO in writing who will:
- Acknowledge receipt within 4 working days
- Send the complainer a copy of the complaint policy/procedure
- Investigate the complaint
Beira’s Place 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 Deputy CEO 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.
Making an appeal
If the complainer is not satisfied with the outcome or response to the complaint, the complainer may appeal, at which point the CEO 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, she 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. The decision of the working group will be final as far as the organisation is concerned.
Complaints about the Deputy CEO should be made to the CEO. Any complaints about the CEO should be made directly to the Chair of the Board of Directors of Beira’s Place.