Client complaints procedure

 

Last updated October 2017

COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

The PSU offers emotional and practical support to people representing themselves in Civil and Family court proceedings.  This help is free of charge, and is provided mainly by volunteers (i).  PSU staff and volunteers also raise funds for the charity, and may meet the public as supporters and donors, through events, appeals and other activities. 

Feedback and informal complaints

We welcome your feedback on any aspect of our services.  When you visit a PSU for help, we offer forms for comments on the service you have received, and we will also welcome your suggestions for other improvements.

If you have any concerns, please speak to a volunteer or staff member, either at the PSU where the problem arose, or on the phone (ii). 

We try to resolve concerns as quickly as we can, but if we are unable to do so, you can make a formal complaint.

Making a formal complaint

If you have tried talking to someone, but your concern was not put right, and you wish to make a formal complaint, please do so in writing - by email to complaints@thepsu.org.uk  or by post to:

The PSU (complaints), The Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL. 

If it is not possible for you to complain in writing, you can arrange to telephone us (ii) and a member of the PSU staff will write down your concern. In either event, please do this as soon as possible - within one month of the incident at the most - so that we can investigate the issue properly.  

Please include your name, address and preferred contact information, and say what you wish to complain about, with as much detail as you can give, and what you would like to happen as a result.

Handling the complaint

We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days and investigate what happened. If the complaint is about a volunteer or a member of staff, we will tell them as well. In order to put things right as quickly as possible, we might suggest a telephone conversation with you.

We will normally send a written response within 3 weeks of the date we received your complaint. If the investigator is unable to reply within 3 weeks, s/he will contact you to explain why, and will agree another deadline with you.

If we don’t hear from you within a month after we have sent our response, we will consider the complaint to have been withdrawn or closed.

Appeal

If you believe that we have not handled your complaint properly, you can appeal to the Chair of Trustees.

Please send your appeal in writing, clearly marked ‘Complaint-Appeal’ to: The Chair of Trustees, care of the Chief Executive:

by e-mail: Director@thepsu.org.uk
by post:    CEO, The PSU, Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

The Chair may ask other Trustees to look at the appeal, and you will receive a further response within one month after you asked for a review, or within a time period agreed with you.

The Trustees’ decision is final (iii).



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(i) We try to help everyone who comes to us. Occasionally, we may not be able to help, and we will usually explain why we might refuse or withdraw PSU services. We do, however, reserve the right to refuse our services without an explanation, on rare occasions. We also reserve the right to select staff, volunteers and supporters to enable us to deliver our services in the best interests of the people we help.

(ii) The names and contact details of Managers and Heads of Department can be found on our website: www.thepsu.org (See: ‘Who we are’ or ‘PSU Locations’).

(iii) You may complain to the Charity Commission, but they normally only deal with: matters of governance; the way finances are handled; risk of serious harm to the people the charity helps; or criminal activity.  (http://forms.charitycommission.gov.uk/raising-concerns/).