Compliments, Comments and Complaints

Our key aims are to-

  • Act quickly and efficiently to put things right if something goes wrong.
  • Use feedback to improve our services and focus on the needs of the people who use our services


1. Complaints

What is a “complaint”?

It is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about –

  • Our policies
  • Our service standards or quality
  • Our staff attitude or user access
  • Any form of discrimination
  • A perceived misuse of confidential informtion


A complaint could include one or more of the following problems –

  • We delay in providing a service
  • We fail or refuse to provide a service
  • We provide a poor quality service or make a mistake
  • We provide an inappropriate service
  • We remove or withdraw a service
  • We charge an inappropriate cost for a service
  • An employee’s behaviour causes upset
  • A policy unreasonably disadvantages a user of our services
  • We unfairly discriminate against a user of our services
  • A user of our services is unable to access a service

We are committed to trying to resolve things that go wrong as soon as possible and give users of our services an outcome that they are satisfied with.

These are our aims when handling complaints –

  1. To make it easy for the public to contact us, by phone, in writing, by e-mail or by visiting in person
  2. To ensure that ALL feedback should be treated with equal importance.
  3. To respond quickly, within agreed timescales

ERVAS aims to be fair, efficient, effective and professional at all times. However, we recognize that occasionally we may get things wrong and if this happens we would wish to rectify the situation. If you have a concern or complaint about an ERVAS service, policy, or about the actions, behaviour or attitude of a staff member, then please follow the procedure below –


Stage 1

If you hope to resolve the matter informally, please contact our office on 01482 871077 to discuss your concerns and they will refer you to the correct member of staff. They will investigate the matter and respond to you, either verbally or in writing, whichever you prefer, within an agreed timescale.


Stage 2

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome at stage 1 or your concern involves a particular member of staff you should write to Chief Executive Officer at ERVAS, Morley’s Cottage, Morley’s Yard, Walkergate, Beverley, HU17 9BY giving details of the nature of your complaint. You should mark the envelope “CONFIDENTIAL – COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE”.

Receipt of your complaint will be acknowledged within five working days and you will be informed of the timescale for investigating your complaint and responding fully to you. Wherever possible the investigation will be carried out within ten working days. You will be informed in writing of the outcome of the investigation.


Stage 3

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint at Stage 2, or if your complaint concerns the person named in stage 2, you should write to the Chair of the Board c/o the ERVAS address, marking the envelope “CONFIDENTIAL – COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE”.

A letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint will be sent within five working days of receiving it, giving a timescale for investigating your complaint and responding fully to you. Your complaint will be investigated by two Trustees and you will be informed in writing of the outcome of their investigation and any recommendations for action.


2. Who are our service users?

Our definition of a service user is: “If you contact us for any reason, or you are affected by anything we do, you are one of our service users”. If you use our services you can put forward a complaint, a compliment or a comment.


3. What is a “compliment”?

A compliment is when someone who uses our services gives us feedback about how we exceeded expectations in delivering a service.


4. What is a “comment”?

When someone who uses our services comments, or offers an idea on how we can improve our delivery of a service, but does not want to make a complaint.


5. What action can we take to put things right when things go wrong?

If we make a mistake, we will apologise and try to put things right. We may ask the service user to suggest what they would like us to do. We will always try to put the service user back to the position that he or she would have been in but for our mistake. We will also try to ensure that the same mistake does not happen again.

We may decide that one or more of the following can be done to put things right –

  • Provide or change a service to the user of our services
  • Provide an explanation or information to the user
  • Review user literature (leaflets, website, poster and so on)
  • Review a policy or procedure
  • Arrange training or guidance for employees/volunteers


6. Vexatious Complaints

We want to treat complaints positively, and, where possible, leave our service users feeling happy about their experience of making a complaint to us. However, a complaint can be regarded as vexatious when it has been considered and found to be unjustified, but when the person making the complaint is –

  • Not prepared to accept that conclusion, and
  • Persists in making the same or a substantially similar complaint
  • Given the opportunity to go through the 3 stage complaints process

If it is considered that a complaint has become vexatious, the person(s) dealing with the complaint will not pursue the complaint any further. The person making the complaint will be informed of this decision.


7. How we publicise service user feedback

We will publicise our service user feedback by making information available –

  • In our service information leaflets and publications i.e. newsletters
  • On our web site
  • We will also publish regular articles on our web site on how we use user feedback to improve our services