HOPE HOUSE CHILDREN S HOSPICES COMPLAINTS POLICY & PROCEDURE

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1 HOPE HOUSE CHILDREN S HOSPICES COMPLAINTS POLICY & PROCEDURE Originator: Approved by: David Featherstone, Chief Executive Kath Jones, Director of Care Clinical Governance Group Date: September 2010 Review Date: September 2013 Version: 3 The aim of Hope House Children s Hospices is to support children with life limiting conditions and their families through respite and palliative care as required by the family. This philosophy impacts on the nature of the Complaints Policy in many ways and affects all sectors of the organisation. Policy Statement Complaints, verbal and written, will be dealt with in a swift and effective manner, which will aim to ensure complete fairness for both the complainant and the staff or volunteer concerned. The complaints procedure will be responsive and flexible to address the issues identified by the complainant. Complaints will be used to improve services, reduce incidents and to improve overall quality. Responsibility: Head of Department/Line Manager (as appropriate) Accountability: Chief Executive A quarterly report in connection with all complaints made with regard to hospice/home care will be made to the Clinical Governance Group. A twice yearly report will be made available to the Care Quality Commission/Healthcare Inspectorate in Wales in connection with all complaints made with regard to hospice/home care which will include the complaint made and action taken in response. A twice yearly report will be made to the Board of Trustees, listing all complaints made against the organisation during the previous 6 month period. F:/Kaydocs/Complaints Policy & Procedure 1 Sept 10

2 Compliance with Statutory Requirements Scope Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2009: Regulation 19 Essential Standards of Quality and Safety, Care Quality Commission 2009: Outcome 17 Private and Voluntary Healthcare (Wales) Regulations 2002: Regulation 22 National Minimum Standards for Private and Voluntary Health Care, Welsh Assembly Government 2002: Standard C16 The Complaints Policy refers to both clinical and non-clinical complaints. It is designed to manage, respond to and resolve complaints effectively. This is achieved through a procedure which:- Is accessible to complainants. Provides a simple system for making complaints about any aspect of the service provided. Is a rapid and open process with designated timescales and a commitment to keep the complainant informed on the progress of the investigation. Is fair to staff and the complainant. Maintains the confidentiality of the child, complainant and staff member(s). Provides an opportunity to learn from the complaint to improve services. Staff training requirements Training will be provided to all staff in the organisation on:- What constitutes a complaint. How to receive a complaint. How to deal with someone making a complaint. The complaints process, both verbal and written. Any complaint relating to a Child Protection or Vulnerable Adult Protection issue will be dealt with under the Child Protection and Protection of Vulnerable Adult Policy and Procedures as an internal investigation would be inappropriate. F:/Kaydocs/Complaints Policy & Procedure 2 Sept 10

3 COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE Aim and Scope of Procedure To provide instructions on how to manage a complaint from receipt through to resolution in partnership with the complainant and staff concerned. Covers Receipt of verbal and written complaints. Investigation of complaints. Communication with complainant. Resolution of complaints. Referral to the Care Quality Commission /Healthcare Inspectorate Wales or an alternative adjudication service (if appropriate). STAFF RESPONSIBILITIES Complaints Regarding Care in the Hospice or at Home Head of Care or Director of Care: To investigate the complaint. To oversee the investigation, draft a response and ensure resolution. To use complaint as a learning process. To respond to complainant. To ensure complaint is resolved. Complaints Regarding Fundraising Matters Director of Fundraising: To investigate the complaint, thence as above. Complaints regarding Accounts and Payroll Matters Business Manager: To investigate the complaint, thence as above. Complaints regarding Retail Matters Retail Manager: To investigate the complaint, thence as above. F:/Kaydocs/Complaints Policy & Procedure 3 Sept 10

4 Receiving the Complaint Complaints may be initiated with front line staff by parents, children, donors or other members of the public. Every complaint needs to be dealt with sensitively and seen as an opportunity to improve the service. Family centred care is practised at Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith and this must be borne in mind when receiving a care-related complaint: it may not be directly in relation to the child for whom we care. People may make complaints to any member of staff verbally or in writing. A child may prefer to ask a person who they trust to make a complaint on their behalf, or the child may have difficulty in expressing their concerns due to the severity of their condition. Someone who communicates closely with the child and understands the child may make the complaint on their behalf. The hospice Consent Policy and Advocacy Policy must also be considered in relation to complaints from children regarding care matters. Where the child has died or is unable to give consent, it is necessary to establish that the complainant is a suitable person to represent the child. Confidentiality of the child and any known wishes expressed by the child that information should not be disclosed to third parties should be respected except in the case of complaints regarding child protection issues. Verbal complaints must be passed on to the Head of Department or Line Manager as quickly as possible. Written details of both verbal and written complaints must be kept. All complaints must be adequately recorded in the Complaints Register. Details to be recorded are:- Nature of complaint. Result of the investigation. Resolution of complaint. Whether the complaint was upheld. Action taken Acknowledgement of Complaint All complainants should receive a written acknowledgement within 2 working days. This letter should detail the complaints process. Investigation of Complaint The Head of Department or appropriate Line Manager should investigate the complaint. The complaint investigation should be handled in a manner which acknowledges that being subject to a complaint can be a stressful and anxious time for staff. F:/Kaydocs/Complaints Policy & Procedure 4 Sept 10

5 All findings should be fully documented. Any communication with the complainant must be documented. A full response should be sent to the complainant within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint. If it is not possible to send a full response within 20 days, a letter explaining the delay should be sent to the complainant. Resolution of complaint Once the investigation has been completed, a letter should be sent within 5 working days outlining the findings and the proposed action to be taken. The findings of the complaint, together with the action to be taken should be entered in the appropriate complaint register. Appropriate action plans following the complaint should be completed together with a timescale for action and review. In the case of a care related complaint, the circumstances, without personal details, should be reported to the Clinical Governance Group to ensure lessons are learned and practice is improved. The Complaints Register is inspected by Trustees quarterly. Referral to Regulatory Bodies or alternative complaints systems In the case of a care related complaint, if the child and family are unhappy with the outcome of the complaint, s/he can complain to the appropriate regulating body. Hope House Care Quality Commission National Correspondence Citygate Gallowgate Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4PA Tŷ Gobaith Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) Bevan House, Caerphilly Business Park, Van Road Caerphilly CF83 3EDL Telephone: Telephone: Complainants may also refer unresolved complaints to the Independent Sector Complaints Adjudication Service where appropriate (England). HIW have set out their arrangements for dealing with complaints in a document called What to do if you have a concern about an independent healthcare service in Wales. This can be accessed via: Details of how to complain are provided in the information leaflet for children and families under How to Complain. If a complaint concerns any child in the Looked After System, the designated Complaints Officer for the relevant Local Authority must be informed. See flow diagram of complaints process on next page. F:/Kaydocs/Complaints Policy & Procedure 5 Sept 10

6 COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE FLOW CHART ALL DEPARTMENTS Complaint Received Date of Complaint entered in Register Complaint acknowledged within 2 working days. Investigation If more than 20 working days elapse, update letter to complainant Resolution No Resolution 5 days after completed investigation. Full written response. Details entered in Complaints register. CEO to advise Chair of Board of Trustees. Care related complaints only: Head of Care to contact Care Quality Commission/Healthcare Inspectorate Wales as appropriate. F:/Kaydocs/Complaints Policy & Procedure 6 Sept 10

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