WellStop is committed to providing professional and respectful services to all clients, family/whanau members, support persons, contractors and/or other stakeholders. We encourage and learn from feedback and treat all complaints fairly and in a timely manner.
This policy applies to feedback and complaints about our services and complaints about breach of privacy.
Feedback is information about a person’s experience or reaction to our service. It includes suggestions and compliments.
A complaint is feedback expressing dissatisfaction with the standard, type or way in which a service is provided, or not provided, changed or withdrawn. It may be a complaint about a breach of privacy.
Regional Managers in the regional service must manage complaints received about the service. The CE must manage complaints made about a Regional Managers of a regional office. Staff must encourage client feedback in their practice and engage and constructively to their feedback and complaints.
Feedback must be routinely sought from and responded to with clients, their whānau/supports and other stakeholders
Staff must be informed about and if necessary trained in using our feedback and complaints processes and supporting tamariki and vulnerable adults to use them
Clients and their whānau must be informed about our feedback and complaints processes at an early stage of engagement. The information must cover their rights to:
participate in the process, access support and advocacy and have a full right of response
a fair and impartial investigation and decision
not be adversely treated for making a complaint.
The Wellstop complaint process is displayed in all client waiting areas. Clients are also advised of WellStop's complaint process in our written brochures.
Feedback and complaints data is used for learning and improvement purposes.
Making a complaint or giving feedback
Feedback may be given and complaints made verbally, electronically or in writing to the Manager of the specific regional service. If the complaint or feedback is about that person, it should be directed to the CEO
Clients or others who make a verbal complaint should be asked if they want to to put their complaint in writing.
A summary of the verbal complaint and steps taken to resolve the issue will be written up by the staff member dealing with the complaint.
The client should also be given the option of accessing external agencies for support (eg the Health and Disability Commissioner, Disability Law Advocacy, union representation, community law centre, VOYCE for children and young people in care, Office of the Children’s Commissioner.)
Acknowledgement and recording
The complaint must be entered into the Complaints Register by a Regional Manager who has access. CEO must be notified.
Feedback received from a client about a staff member should be passed on to that staff member. A record of the feedback should be maintained.
If the client asks to have another person represent them in their complaint, communication must be with their representative.
A written acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint should be sent to the client or their representative within five working days. This can be done electronically and must be uploaded into the Complaints Register in SharePoint.
Timeframes to respond and investigate complaints
Verbal response within 24 hours
Written acknowledgement complaint within three working days
Completion of investigation within five working days
Written complaints must be responded to in writing or by email within seven working days.
The following steps are taken to investigate complaints:
The immediate Regional Manager of the staff member about whom the complaint has been made, telephones the person complaining to seek further information. If it is a Manager that is being complained about, the CEO will make the phone call.
The immediate Regional Manager informs the person or people being complained about and advises the details of the complaint and asks for a response to the complaint within 24 hours.
If the facts are disputed, the Regional Manager will seek more information (for example, from others present).
The Regional Manager determines whether the complaint has substance.
The Regional Manager documents the complaint, the evidence, the findings and any outcomes in the Complaint Register.
The Regional Manager alongside the staff member/s implements the agreed outcome or decides on an appropriate remedy.
The staff member/s involved may choose to have a support person with them at any interviews or meetings.
It is important for anyone investigating or mediating a complaint not to jump to any conclusions but to hear both sides of the story. This means being fair to both parties involved in the complaint throughout the investigation. The person/people the complaint is against should be:
Given all the information about the complaint, including the name of the person making the complaint (where appropriate)
Given an opportunity to present their side of the story
Told of their right to have a support person.
Finalisation of complaint
Once the complaint has been investigated and the matter has been resolved, the responsible Regional Manager will ensure that a letter/ email is sent to the person who made the complaint advising them of the outcome. The letter/ email will advise who to contact if the recipient is not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint, or the actions taken to resolve the issue. The letter may include the contact details, for example, of the Regional Manager, CEO or Chair of WellStop's Board, Professional Body, Office of the Privacy Commissioner (for privacy complaints) ACC, or other funders of the service. This letter can be sent electronically where applicable and uploaded into the Complaints Register in SharePoint. Feedback should be sought from the complainant and staff member about the resolution process either by letter or verbally.
Where the matter is unable to be resolved between the parties, or it is inappropriate for the complaint to be dealt with by the staff member being complained about, the complaint may be escalated to the next level of management or an appropriate external body.
Complaints about management may be escalated to the CEO or Chair of the Board.
Complaints made about staff are to go to the respective Regional Manager.
Complaints made about Regional Manager are to go to the CEO.
Complaints regarding service provision funded by a third party (e.g. Corrections, ACC, ) may be made directly to the funder.
Complaints Involving a Breach of Professional Code of Ethics may be made to the appropriate professional body.
Complaints about privacy may be referred to the Privacy Commissioner.
Serious breaches of WellStop's code of conduct
Serious breaches of WellStop's Code of Conduct will be dealt with via WellStop's disciplinary process.
All Complaints are documented in the Complaints Register which is on SharePoint. To maintain the confidentiality of any staff members involved, only Regional Managers /Senior Managers have access to the Complaints Register and have rights to upload information into the Complaints Register.
The Regional Managers enters the following information into the Complaints Register for each complaint:
Date the complaint was made
Nature of the complaint
Who dealt with the complaint
All documentation in relation to the complaint (including meeting minutes)
Outcome of the Complaint (any actions taken as a result of the complaint)
Copy of the letter (or file path where a copy of the letter can be located) sent to the complainant advising them the outcome of their complaint. If the complaint was made verbally, a note is made on the Complaints Register of the outcome of the complaint.