Complaints, Grievances and Feedback Policy

Purpose of Policy

Seton Villa believes that complaints/grievances are an important opportunity to improve the quality of our services.  Seton Villa through its Complaint/Grievance Handling Policy ensures that the people we support, their families, carers, advocates and members of the public are aware of their right to complain and the procedure to follow to lodge a complaint/grievance.  All complaints/grievances are treated confidentially, where possible, and Seton Villa will take all reasonable steps to ensure complainants are protected from reprisals and/or victimisation.

Policy Objectives

1. People using Seton Villa’s services will be supported through the complaint/grievance resolution process
People using Seton Villa’s services will be encouraged and supported, if they wish, to ask the help of any person they choose, in making and resolving a complaint/grievance e.g. family, advocate, friend or complaint agency.  People we support have the right to have their chosen representative present at any time during the complaint/grievance process.
Employees are required to attend in-service training in regard to complaints handling.

2. People are free to make a complaint/grievance without fear of retribution
People who use Seton Villa services will be encouraged and supported in their making of complaints/grievances and will not be treated badly as a result of making a complaint/grievance.  Relatives, advocates, employees and any other person raising a complaint/grievance will also not be adversely affected as a result of raising a complaint/grievance.

3. Seton Villa will respond to complaints
Seton Villa will acknowledge all complaints/grievances made within 48 hrs of receipt and will endeavour to have the matter resolved within a timely matter.

4. Seton Villa will refer serious complaints/grievances to appropriate persons
The CEO may refer some serious or sensitive complaints/grievances to the Board or an external complaint body for resolution. If a complaint is an allegation of sexual or physical abuse, the appropriate procedure will commence immediately.

5. To ensure compliance with Seton Villa complaint/grievance process
Complaints/grievances will be reported as outlined in the Complaint/Grievance Handling Procedure and forwarded to the CEO (Phillip Kelly) in a timely Manner.

6. Seton Villa’s Complaint/Grievance Handling Policy will be available on the Seton Villa website and be available to stakeholders
Copies of this policy and the procedures for complaint/grievance handling will be made available in accessible formats so that the people we support can understand their rights in relation to raising a complaint/grievance.

7. All complainants will have access to all avenues to lodge a complaint/ grievance
Seton Villa will provide the people we support and other relevant stakeholders with relevant, accessible information of external agencies to enable a complaint/grievance to be raised.

8. Accurate records will be maintained in relation to complaints/grievances
All stages of the complaint/grievance resolution process will be documented and filed in accordance with privacy legislation.

9. Seton Villa will learn from Complaints and Feedback
Seton Villa will analyse Complaints and Feedback. Complaints and Feedback is a standing agenda item on all Seton Villa meetings with residents and clients. Clients are encouraged to use these regular meetings as opportunities to provide feedback to Seton Villa about how services might be improved. Seton Villa will discuss complaints and feedback as standing items on team meetings of staff in each house, as a standing item of the weekly management team meeting, and as an item to be reported to the Board by the CEO as part of the CEO Report to the Board at each Board Meeting.

10. With respect to Unreasonable Behaviour from Complainants
Seton Villa employees have the right to be treated with respect. If a person making a complaint/grievance begins to behave in an unreasonable way, either by

  • becoming aggressive
  • using sarcasm
  • voice raising
  • intimidation
  • gossiping about employees
  • name calling

Or in any other way that makes the employee feel uncomfortable or threatened, the employee may politely terminate the conversation.
The matter should be recorded, including the time and date of conversation, what the conversation was pertaining to, what was said and how it made the employee feel. This report should be given to their manager. The manager will forward this to the complaints officer for monitoring or further action.

Related Information

NSW Disabilities Act 1993 (NSW)
Community Services (Complaints, Appeals and Monitoring) Act 1993 (NSW)
AS ISO 10002-2006 Customer satisfaction – Guidelines for complaints handling in organisations