Internal Complaint Handling Procedure
We are committed to providing the highest level of service to our clients and we take all complaints seriously and investigate them thoroughly.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction or concern about our services. Whether we feel it is justified or not, the complainant feels that they have good reason to complain and their comments must be taken seriously, properly recorded and fully investigated.
A minor complaint such as lateness for or an extended waiting period to book an appointment can usually be resolved with an apology and explanation by the staff member providing the service.
A serious complaint such as unprofessional conduct or involving threats of legal action must always be reported immediately by the staff member concerned to the Practice Manager.
The staff member providing the service or to whom the complaint has been made should assess whether the complaint is “minor” or “serious”.
They should try to resolve a “minor” complaint directly with the customer while informing them that they have the option to refer their complaint directly to the Practice Manager if they wish to.
If the complaint is resolved directly the customer should be told that their complaint will, nevertheless, be recorded on a complaint form, reported to the Practice Manager and noted on their customer record. They should also be asked whether they would like a written acknowledgement of their complaint from the Practice Manager.
A complaint form should then, even for the most minor complaint, be completed by the staff member and submitted to the Practice Manager.
If the staff member believes the complaint is “serious” they should offer to complete the complaint form with the client and advise them that it will be referred promptly to the Practice Manager who will respond in writing within a maximum of five working days. The client should also be given a copy of “The Horse Physio Complaint Handling Policy” and asked whether they would like to contact the Practice Manager directly.
The staff member should urgently advise the Practice Manager verbally of any serious complaint and indicate whether the client expressed an intention to refer the complaint to a third party. They should then submit the complaint form to him promptly together with their contemporary notes of any relevant details of, or witnesses to, the subject of the complaint.
Practice Manager Procedure
The Practice Manager should liaise with the staff member to whom the complaint has been made and judge whether it has been dealt with to the complainant’s satisfaction by that staff member. If not, he should either contact the complainant to discuss their concerns verbally or respond in writing. He should also respond in writing within five working days to any written complaint or to any verbal complainant who has requested a written response.
Where appropriate the Practice Manager should liaise with the appropriate officers at ACPAT, Intelligent Horsemanship or any other relevant professional body. This will apply particularly where the complainant has stated their intention of approaching such a body directly or where the complaint might inflict reputational damage on the profession as a whole or generate media interest.
The Practice Manager should maintain a log of complaints forms received from staff members together with details and correspondence related to complaints referred directly to him. These should be logged in chronological order but should also be cross referenced to individual client and staff records so that a complaint history for every client and staff member is readily accessible.