Individuals and organisations have the right to express their views about Healthwatch Derbyshire’s performance and the manner in which it discharges its responsibilities.
Anyone directly affected by the way in which Healthwatch Derbyshire has carried out its functions may make a complaint under Healthwatch Derbyshire’s Complaints Policy.
We will treat both concerns and complaints in the same way.
It is the policy of Healthwatch Derbyshire to:
- Listen carefully to your concern
- Be polite, helpful, and deal with your complaint fairly and efficiently
- Let you know how we are getting on with your complaint, admitting any mistakes made and putting matters right wherever possible
- Give the right of appeal against a decision made by the Chief Executive/Chair of the Board
- Provide reasonable adjustments to the procedure set out below to empower those who need support in making a complaint, such as the right to be accompanied in any necessary meetings and providing accessible information formats
- Use your feedback to improve our service for all who need it.
Complaints we cannot deal with:
- Complaints or concerns about the NHS, which should be dealt with through the NHS complaints procedure
- Complaints about the provision of social care services should be dealt with by Derbyshire County Council’s complaints procedure.
Healthwatch Derbyshire can signpost you to the correct organisation that is best placed to handle your complaint.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
Healthwatch Derbyshire is committed to ensuring all complaints are handled free from any form of discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
Healthwatch Derbyshire will monitor this policy in order to identify whether it is having an adverse impact on any group of individuals and act accordingly.
To help us handle your complaint we will keep a record of all the information we gather. All information held and processed shall be treated in confidence. Such information will be shared with representatives of Healthwatch Derbyshire only to the extent required to resolve the complaint in accordance with this policy and procedure.
How to raise a concern or make a complaint about Healthwatch Derbyshire:
- In the first instance, we would encourage you to raise a concern, or complaint, or to provide feedback on our service informally to any member of staff. Providing information or correcting misunderstandings or misconceptions at this stage may enable the issue to be successfully resolved.
- If the concern or complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction, then you should notify the Chief Executive via email, letter, or telephone conversation. If this conversation takes place over the telephone, we will also need it to be confirmed in writing.
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- If the complaint is about the Chief Executive please make contact with the Chair of the Board in the first instance.
- If the complaint is about the Chair of the Board, please make contact with the Vice Chair in the first instance.
- Healthwatch Derbyshire will acknowledge the concern/complaint in writing (or in the complainant’s preferred method of communication) within seven working days.
- The Chief Executive or Chair of Healthwatch Derbyshire Board will review and arrange investigation of all concerns and complaints. They will gather relevant information and carefully evaluate that information to decide on your complaint. They will act to resolve your complaint within 15 working days, and will advise you of the outcome in writing, explaining the decision and how it has been reached. If more than 15 working days are needed, you will be contacted and updated with progress and a new timescale agreed.
- If you are not happy with the outcome at this stage, you will be able to appeal. Let us know within 20 days of receiving your written reply from us, and your concern or complaint will be passed to a member of the Healthwatch Derbyshire board who has not previously been involved with your complaint. They will review the facts and consider all the evidence to decide if your appeal is upheld. They will share their findings and confirm their decision to you in writing within 20 working days. The concern or complaint will then be closed.
- If you are still not satisfied you can take your concern or complaint to Derbyshire County Council, which can be contacted in the following ways:
You may also subsequently take your concern or complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman who can be contacted in the following ways. The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman is a free independent service
Reviewing our practice of managing complaints
All formal complaints are handled as detailed in the above process.
All complaints received, whether formally, or informally are:
- recorded on a complaints log recording details of any corrective action taken
- agended for discussion at the Senior Management Review Meeting (MRM) and minuted accordingly
- minutes of the MRM are tabled at the subsequent Finance & Audit subgroup meeting for oversight as part of the ISO 9001 agenda item
- minutes of F&A subgroup meeting further tabled for discussion at the formal Board meetings.
The Board of Healthwatch Derbyshire will review the effectiveness of the complaints policy and procedures set out in this document every year. Any amendments to this policy and the procedures governing complaints will require a simple majority of board members voting in favour.
This revised and updated policy document was accepted by the Board of Directors on 12th September 2022, and will be published on the Healthwatch Derbyshire website as soon as is practicable.