Introduction


The Encephalitis Society aims to provide all its stakeholders (individuals who use the Society’s services, but also other people, groups and organisations that interact with the Society) with the best possible service at all times. We believe we achieve this most of the time and strictly adhere to our values. If we get it right, please let us know.

Our key values are:
• Passionate: We are passionate about what we do and the difference this makes in the lives of others
• Empowering: We empower people to access support and together we find meaningful solutions to their difficulties
• Trust: We are talented experts, informed by medical professionals and inspired by people who experience encephalitis
• Transparent: We are open, honest and transparent in our decision making and how we deal with people
• Accessible: We make it easy for people to access information about our work and the services we provide. We connect people together to share experiences and support each other
• Listening: We help people reach a better understanding of encephalitis, their situation and the options open to them

The Encephalitis Society recognises that from time to time there may be an occasion when a user feels that the service provided has fallen short of what may reasonably have been expected.

As the feelings and perceptions of stakeholders are greatly valued by the Encephalitis Society, should a user have a complaint we would like to be informed. We take complaints very seriously and we treat them as an opportunity to develop. This is why we are always very grateful to hear from people who are willing to take the time to help us improve.


Definitions

The Encephalitis Society defines a complaint as “an expression of discontent by a person or persons receiving a service from the charity that cannot be immediately resolved at point of delivery, and about which the complainant desires a follow-up action is taken and a response provided”.

Fundraising complaints are further defined as "an expression of dissatisfaction at any aspect of the Encephalitis Society’s fundraising activities including administrative practices or procedures and acts carried out by third party suppliers".

Stakeholder User Procedure

If you are a user and you have a complaint, please take the following action:

1. Firstly, we would encourage you to raise the details of your dissatisfaction in person, by telephone or in writing, as soon as possible with the member of staff/volunteer concerned (if there is one) or any other Encephalitis Society Staff. It is hoped that a mutually agreeable solution can be reached at this point and the matter can be put right.

However, if the matter is not resolved to your satisfaction, you should:

2. Raise the details of your complaint in person, by telephone or in writing, as soon as possible with the Director of Services.

The Director of Services will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, in writing, within 7 days.

The Director of Services will undertake to investigate the circumstances surrounding your complaint. You can expect a written response to your complaint within 14 days from the date your complaint was originally acknowledged.

3. If you remain dissatisfied you may contact the Chief Executive with the outcome of your complaint, which will be acknowledged and acted upon within 14 days.

4. If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you have the right to raise your complaint in person, by telephone or in writing to the Chair of the Board of Trustees at the address below.

You are welcome and we encourage if necessary for you to have support during this process, such as an advocate or representative.

Occasionally we may receive complaints that do not relate directly to activities undertaken by the Encephalitis Society or that we are not in a position to comment on. We have limited resources and we must use these in the best way possible. This may mean not engaging in-depth with this particular complaint, in particular with the following examples:

• When someone unreasonably pursues a complaint that we have already responded to. They will be given escalation points but we may choose not to reply again, we will always inform you of our decision to do this.
• When a complainant is being obviously abusive, prejudiced or offensive in their manner.
• When a complainant is harassing a staff member.
• When a complaint is incoherent or illegible.
• When complaints are made anonymously. However, we will investigate the complaint and use the information to improve in any way that we can.

In some circumstances complainants will be processed through our Abusive, Persistent or Vexatious Complainants Policy and Procedure.

Monitoring and Evaluation

The Chief Executive will be responsible for informing the Board of Trustees of the number and nature of any complaints and their outcomes. This should be done at each meeting of the Board of Trustees (approx. 4 times per year).


Contact Details

You can contact us in whichever way is most convenient to you.

The Encephalitis Society
32 Castlegate
Malton
North Yorkshire
YO17 7DT

Telephone: +44 (0) 1653 692583
Email: [email protected]

Who else can help?
We really hope that we are able to resolve your complaint in a professional and transparent way and to your satisfaction.

The Encephalitis Society is a member of the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) and is committed to the highest standards in fundraising practice. If your complaint is to do with fundraising and you feel that it has been unresolved by us then the FRSB can investigate your complaint. You must contact them within two months of receiving your response from us.

Fundraising Standards Board
65 Brushfield Street
London
E1 6AA
Tel: 0845 402 5442
[email protected]

Alternatively, if your complaint is related to legal issues and the governing of the Society and you do not feel completely satisfied by our response then you can contact The Charity Commission at the address below.

The Charity Commission
PO Box 1227
Liverpool
L69 3UG
0845 3000 218
www.charity-commission.gov.uk