If you have a complaint, please take time to tell us about it. If we are doing something wrong or badly, it is important to us that we improve.
What kind of thing can I complain about?
- If you are unhappy with the standard of a service provided by Epilepsy Action.
- If you believe that Epilepsy Action has failed to do something it should have done.
- If you feel that Epilepsy Action has done something badly.
- If you feel that Epilepsy Action’s staff, trustees or volunteers have been unhelpful or have treated someone unfairly.
- If you believe that Epilepsy Action hasn’t followed its own policies, rules or procedures correctly.
- If you believe that Epilepsy Action hasn’t followed required regulations or standards.
If you believe that illegal activity is taking place or that people or property are at risk of harm, this is an emergency situation. Please contact the relevant emergency service – police, fire service or ambulance – by phoning 999. Then, please contact Epilepsy Action as soon as possible.
Please don’t use the complaint system to make a general enquiry, to request a service, report a fault or to ask for an explanation of a situation. A phone call to Epilepsy Action should help you with this kind of general enquiry.
Epilepsy Action will investigate all complaints, if received within three months of the situation that triggered the complaint. If the situation happened more than three months before, it will fall outside this policy and procedure and Epilepsy Action may not be able to investigate it.
How do I make a complaint?
For non-emergency complaints, the first step is to contact Epilepsy Action and ask to speak to the manager concerned. If you would prefer not to use the phone, you can write to us or email us, or use our feedback form.
For all complaints, we will need some information from you. This will include the following:
- The date of the situation that you are complaining about.
- The reason you are complaining.
- What you would like Epilepsy Action to do about your complaint, if anything.
- Any other information that may help us to investigate the complaint, for example details of any other people involved in the situation or who witnessed it.
We may ask you about your sex, age, ethnic origin etc. You do not have to give this information but it helps us make sure that we deal fairly with complaints from all sections of the community.
Will my details be kept confidential?
We will take every reasonable step to keep your identity confidential. However, in order to investigate and respond to a complaint, some members of staff may need to know the full information. The department manager responsible for dealing with the complaint will be responsible for deciding who receives this information. Those staff will be required to keep the details confidential. If a member of staff treats this information inappropriately, they may face disciplinary action.
What happens next?
Your complaint will be recorded in writing, to make sure that it is followed up.
Some complaints can be dealt with very quickly, without the need for a formal investigation. If this is possible, Epilepsy Action will do so. You will receive a letter and Epilepsy Action’s response within 14 days. If you are not happy with our response, you can refer your complaint to the Chief Executive.
Within 14 days of you making a formal complaint, you will receive a letter acknowledging the complaint and telling you about our procedures. A copy of this guide will also be sent to you, if you do not already have one. This is stage one of our formal procedure.
The department manager, or a more senior manager, will investigate the complaint. As part of the investigation, it may be necessary to talk to other staff or members of the public who may have further information. A meeting will be held with those staff that were involved in the situation or event you have complained about. If external suppliers were involved, they will also have an opportunity to attend this meeting and supply evidence.
Within 30 days, the department manager will write to you, telling you the results of the investigation. If there is a difficulty with the investigation, or staff disciplinary action has to be taken before the investigation can be completed, you will receive a letter explaining the situation. These may have to be dealt with before the investigation into your complaint can continue.
If your complaint has highlighted changes that need to be made, Epilepsy Action will take the necessary steps to make suitable changes.
If your complaint involves a fundraising matter, our complaints procedure follows the standards required by the Fundraising Standards Board. The Board will be told about your complaint.
What happens if I’m unhappy with the result of your investigation?
If you are unhappy with the results of our investigation, you have one month to write to our Chief Executive, asking him to review your complaint. This is stage two of our formal procedure.
The Chief Executive will then reply to you within one month, giving his final decision.
If your complaint was about fundraising, you have two months to refer your complaint to the Fundraising Standards Board. This is stage three of our formal procedure.
The Fundraising Standards Board then has 60 days to review the complaint and write to you with their decision.
If you remain unhappy after these steps have been taken, you can refer your complaint to the Charity Commission. This organisation regulates charities in England. You will need to give them our charity registration number, which is 234343.