1. Purpose of Policy
    • The procedures outlined in this Complaint Policy (‘Policy’) aim to achieve consistent treatment in the handling of complaints and provide a process to follow in the event a complaint arises. We value complaints as they assist us to improve our service provision.
  2. Commencement of Policy
    • This Policy will commence from 1/8/2018. It replaces all other complaint policies of Riv Hub (whether written or not).
  3. Application of the Policy
    • This Policy applies to all health service consumers of Riv Hub.
    • Riv Hub may at its sole discretion, on a case by case basis, alter the manner in which the process outlined in this Policy is conducted to ensure it suits the particular complaint.
  4. What is a complaint?
    • A complaint can be based on any type of problem or concern related to the provision of a product or service. A complaint can be about any act, behaviour, omission, situation or decision impacting on a consumer, which the consumer believes is unfair or unjustified.
    • A complaint may relate to almost any aspect of a service, for example:
      1. Suitability of product or service provision to their needs
      2. Cost of product or service
      3. Manner in which product or service is delivered
      4. Provision of adequate information regarding a product or service
      5. Timeliness of product or service provision
  1. Dealing with complaints
    • Riv Hub will endeavour to ensure that consumers have access to processes for the resolution of genuine complaints related to the goods or services they are receiving.
    • As such, Riv Hub will use its reasonable endeavours to:
      1. encourage consumers to come forward with complaints;
      2. deal with complaints in a supportive way, without victimisation or intimidation of any person connected with the complaint;
      3. encourage fairness, impartiality and the resolution of complaints as reasonably promptly and as close as possible to the source of the complaint; and
      4. have staff (where applicable) seek to prevent and resolve complaints
      5. resolve all complaints within seven (7) days
      6. ensure the consumer is informed of the progress of their complaint regularly, especially if there are any delays or changes to what has been agreed.
    • Where a complaint arises, Riv Hub will endeavour, if appropriate, to resolve the complaint in line with the following procedure:
6.                  Summary of Riv Hub’s complaint procedure
Preliminary steps Record the complaint

All complaints made, verbal or written will be recorded in the Complaint Register at the time the complaint is made, or as soon as practicable. When taking a complaint, the following details are recorded: Name and contact details of the complainant, and full details of the complaint including the date. All communication and any actions taken will be recorded in the same place.

Attempt to resolve the complaint yourself

If the consumer feels comfortable in doing so, they should attempt to address the issue directly with the person(s) involved in the complaint. The complainant may discover that the other person was not aware of their complaint and the matter may be able to be resolved directly.

Report the complaint to management (where applicable)

If the consumer does not feel comfortable talking to the person(s) involved, or they have attempted to and it was ineffective in resolving the complaint, or if there is no other person involved in the complaint, the consumer should report the complaint to a Riv Hub Contact Person. The Contact Persons include:

·         Annette Hunt, Principal Psychologist

After a complaint is lodged, the Contact Person will use reasonable endeavours to conduct an initial meeting with the consumer to:

·         obtain information about the consumer’s complaint and what they consider will resolve it;

·         explain how the complaint procedure works;

·         decide if they are the appropriate person to handle the complaint. This includes considering whether they have the necessary authority and can deal with the complaint in an impartial manner. If the Contact Person feels they cannot effectively handle the consumer’s complaint they will refer the matter to another more appropriate individual/entity.

Where it is not practical to conduct such a meeting, the Contact Person may carry out these steps by telephone or written correspondence.

Once the consumer has reported the matter to a Contact Person, that person may commence one of the procedures outlined below that is regarded as suitable for dealing with the complaint.

Step 1 Informal procedure

The informal procedure involves a range of informal actions to resolve the complaint. Such actions will depend on the individual circumstances of the complaint. Possible actions include, but are not limited to:

·         the Contact Person discussing the issue with the person against whom the complaint is made; and/or

·         the Contact Person facilitating a meeting between the parties in an attempt to resolve the issue and move forward.

Many complaints are able to be resolved through the informal procedure. However, in circumstances where the Contact Person considers the informal procedure is not appropriate, and the complaint is sufficiently serious, the complaint may be escalated to the formal procedure.

Step 2 Formal procedure – Investigation

·         If the complaint is not able to be resolved through the informal procedure or the informal procedure is not appropriate, the formal procedure may be commenced.

·         The formal procedure involves a formal investigation of the complaint and a decision about appropriate actions and outcomes.

·         The investigation generally involves collecting information about the complaint and then making a finding based on the available information. Once a finding is made, the Contact Person or an external investigator will make recommendations about the complaint.

Other Actions Referral to external mediator

·         Where all parties to the complaint (including Riv Hub) agree that mediation may be appropriate in resolving the complaint, the complaint may be referred to an external mediator.

 

  1. Other procedural issues

Service Provision to Continue

  • Service Provision will continue as normal (where appropriate) while a personal complaint is being dealt with under this Policy. All persons affected by the complaint are expected to co-operate with Riv Hub to ensure the efficient and fair resolution of the complaint.

Victimisation

  • Disciplinary action will be taken against any person who victimises or retaliates against a person who has lodged or is involved in a personal complaint issue under this Policy. Such action may include termination of employment.

Confidentiality

  • The Contact Person(s) will endeavour to maintain confidentiality as far as possible. However, it may be necessary to speak with other parties in order to determine what happened so as to afford fairness to those against whom the complaint has been made, and to resolve the complaint.
  • All consumers and workplace employees involved in the complaint must also maintain confidentiality, including the consumer who lodges the complaint. The complainant may discuss the complaint with a designated support person or representative (who is not an employee employed or engaged by Riv Hub). However, the support person or representative must also maintain confidentiality.

Documentation

  • Where considered appropriate by Riv Hub, agreed resolutions of personal complaints arising from the informal procedure may be recorded and signed by all parties. A record of any action that is taken arising from the informal procedure or formal investigation will be placed on the file of any person who is involved.

Access to support and representation

  • The consumer can seek advice from a support person at any stage during the complaint process. The consumer can bring a support person to a complaint meeting if so desired.

Possible Outcomes

  • Riv Hub will in its sole discretion determine whether any outcomes are appropriate. The outcomes will depend on the nature of the complaint and the procedure followed to address the complaint.
  • Where an investigation results in a finding that a person has engaged conduct in breach of a Riv Hub Policy, that person may be disciplined. The type and severity of disciplinary action will depend on the nature of the complaint and other relevant factors. Where the investigation results in a finding that the person complained against has engaged in serious misconduct, this may result in instant dismissal. Any disciplinary action is a confidential matter between the affected person(s) and Riv Hub.
  • Riv Hub may take a range of other non-disciplinary outcomes to resolve a complaint. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    1. training to assist in addressing the problems underpinning the complaint;
    2. monitoring to ensure that there are no further problems;
    3. implementing a new policy;
    4. requiring an apology or an undertaking that certain behaviour stop; and/or
    5. changing work arrangements.

Variations

Riv Hub reserves the right to vary, replace or terminate this policy from time to time.

Policy version and revision information

Policy Authorised by: Annette Hunt Original issue:1/8/2018
Policy Maintained by: Annette Hunt

 

Current version: 1
Review date: 1/8/2019