Arthritis Ireland Complaints Policy

PURPOSE

 

The purpose of the complaints policy is to enable Arthritis Ireland members and service users to express concerns or issues they may have with any aspect of the service delivered to them by Arthritis Ireland.  The procedure enables the issues raised to be dealt with fairly, without delay and in a confidential manner.  Arthritis Ireland welcomes all feedback from its members and service users and will use the information to develop and improve the supports provided.

 

DEFINITION OF A COMPLAINT

 

A complaint means a “complaint” about any action of Arthritis Ireland that it is claimed, does not accord with fair or sound administrative practice, and adversely affects the person by whom or on whose behalf the complaint is made.

 

WHO CAN MAKE A COMPLAINT

 

Any person who is being or was provided with a service by Arthritis Ireland or who is seeking or has sought provision of such service may complain about any action of Arthritis Ireland that -

 

(a) it is claimed, does not accord with fair and sound administrative practice, and

(b) adversely affects or affected that person.

 

HOW COMPLAINTS CAN BE MADE

Complaints can be made verbally, written or by email:

  • By telephone Arthritis Ireland on 01 661 8188
  • By email [email protected]
  • By letter to: Arthritis Ireland, 1 Clanwilliam Square, Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2

 

Complaints should be made within 3 months of the incident but the time limit can be extended in special circumstances.

 

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

Arthritis will take every complaint seriously.  Arthritis Ireland’s process for managing complaints is as follows:

  • Stage 1 - Local resolution of verbal complaints at point of contact (Informal)
  • Stage 2 - Local investigation of written and serious complaints (Formal)
  • Stage 3 – Further investigation of written and serious complaints (Formal)

 

 

STAGE ONE - LOCAL RESOLUTION

If an issue arises Arthritis Ireland encourages the complainant to attempt to resolve the issue informally at the local level with the appropriate person.  If not, we aim to deal with the complaint within 7 working days.  When an outcome has been determined, the complainant will be informed by letter or by phone.  Details will be given to the complainant about how the complaint has been dealt with.

 

STAGE TWO - LOCAL INVESTIGATION

If informal resolution is unsuccessful or not appropriate the complainant can take the complaint to the next stage of the complaints procedure.  This must be done within 4 weeks of being informed of the outcome of the complaint.

 

  • A formal written complaint can be made by completing the Complaints Form and forwarding to Arthritis Ireland.
  • The Complaints Form will then be forwarded to the Complaints Officer (who is the Head of Service Development) who will notify the complainant within 3 working days that:
    • that the complaint has been so received or assigned
    • the steps that he or she proposes to take in investigating the complaint
    • the time limits for the completion of the investigation
    • that the matter will be dealt with immediately and fairly
    • that confidentiality with be upheld at all times.
  • Every effort will be made to deal with the complaint within 7 working days.
    • The Complaints Officer will meet (or discuss by phone) with the complainant and relevant people to get the full facts about the complaint
    • When an outcome of the complaint is determined, the complainant will be informed by both letter and by phone.

 

If the complainant is not satisfied at this point they can take the complaint to stage 3 of the complaints procedure.  This must be done within 4 weeks of being informed of the outcome of the complaint.

 

STAGE THREE - FURTHER INVESTIGATION

The final stage of appeal on the complaint is with the Chief Executive Officer.  

  • A written request must be sent to the CEO requesting a review of the case, stating the reasons for the request.
  • The CEO will acknowledge the request within 3 working days.
  • The CEO will review the complaint, the recommendations of the investigation, all of the steps taken so far to deal with the complaint and the issues raised by it.
  • The CEO will inform the complainant in writing of the outcome of the review and the reasons for this within 20 working days of receiving the request.
  • If the complainant is not satisfied with the recommendations he/she can take the matter further by contacting the Office of the Ombudsman:

(9.15 - 5.30 from Monday - Thursday, 9.15 - 5.15 Friday)

18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

Phone: 01 6785222
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.ombudsman.gov.ie/

 

FOLLOW UP AND IMPLEMENTATION

 

Arthritis Ireland will ensure there is an outcome from the complaint. These outcomes may include;

  • An explanation of what happened and whether a different approach can be taken in future.
  • An apology for any hurt, hardship or inconvenience caused
  • Acceptance of responsibility for any mistake that may have occurred
  • A review and improvement of our procedures and the services we offer
  • Action taken to address the problem
  • An investigation into staff or volunteer conduct using the Arthritis Ireland staff or volunteer policy

 

ANNUAL REPORT TO THE HSE

Arthritis Ireland has established a complaints procedure by agreement with the HSE and thus will provide the HSE with a general report on the complaints received by Arthritis Ireland during the previous year indicating:

  • The total number of complaints received
  • The nature of the complaints
  • The number of complaints resolved by informal means
  • The outcome of any investigations into the complaints