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Complaints Procedure
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Introduction

This procedure must be followed when dealing with all complaints received.

It is important that complaints are dealt with confidentially, courteously and sensitively to ensure that the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.

Monitoring complaints will help to identify any weaknesses in our attitudes and procedures and may lead to changes that will maintain our high standard of service and public profile.

Definition of a Complaint

A complaint can take many forms and may not be under our control but each must be fully investigated and explained to the complainant. Some examples are as follows:

  • Attitude of staff
  • Quality and efficiency of service
  • Breach of confidentiality
  • Errors
  • Availability of products
  • If the complaint relates to a product the manufacturer must be informed immediately

A complaint must be received within 6 months of the incident or within 6 months of being aware of a problem.

Procedure

A complaint record must be completed for each complaint received detailing:

  • Name of the complainant
  • Address
  • Account Number
  • Contact telephone number
  • Date received and by whom
  • How the complaint was received i.e. by telephone, in person or in writing, via another agency.
  • Who or what it was about e.g. attitude of a member of staff, alleged shortages, wrong product, delivery etc.
  • Where and when did it take place?
  • Order Details
  • What outcome does the complainant expect? e.g. an apology, some form of redress

If the matter cannot be dealt with by the person receiving the complaint it must be referred to the manager or deputy and entered on the record.

The complaint should be dealt with confidentially, courteously and sensitively. If, after discussion with the complainant and any other persons involved, an explanation can be given to the satisfaction of the complainant then the matter should be deemed to be resolved and noted as such on the record.

If the matter cannot be resolved a letter should be sent to the complainant within 5 working days explaining that a full investigation will be undertaken and a response sent within 28 working days. This should be recorded on the Complaint Record.

The manager should carry out the investigation by firstly gathering all relevant information:

  • Identity of staff concerned (who should be informed if a complaint is made against them).
  • Identity of complainant witnesses, staff witnesses or other persons.
  • Supporting evidence e.g. product packs, orders, invoices etc.

Staff, witnesses and any other persons involved should then be interviewed and their evidence recorded.

When all the evidence is available it should be checked for discrepancies, gaps identified and contradictions noted. Relevant processes and procedures should also be identified.

After full consideration of all the evidence and any responses the complainant is satisfied then the matter will be considered closed by local resolution. A full written response must be given within 28 working days of the original confirmation of receipt of the complaint.

The written response should include the following:

  • Assure the complainant that the matter was fully investigated.
  • Offer an explanation and/ or apology as appropriate.
  • Refer to any remedial action taken.
  • These details must be entered on the Complaint Record by: Richard Griffiths