Breathe is a values driven organisation, with a small team who make a big impact. We welcome and value feedback as this enables us to listen, learn, and to improve what we do and how.
Compliments, comments and complaints help us continue our innovative and artistic approach to transforming healthcare experiences to offer those we work with a sense of empowerment, hope and creative fulfilment when they need it most.
This policy applies to individuals (members of the public) and organisations wishing to comment on, compliment or complain about the performance of services, activities, programmes and the conduct of employees, volunteers, freelancers and artists working with or representing Breathe. This policy does not apply to Breathe employees, volunteers, freelancers, artists, consultants and directors wishing to make a complaint. In the event that they wish to make a complaint, they should refer to the relevant Breathe HR policy e.g. HR Handbook and Safeguarding Policy as appropriate. Those persons to whom this policy does not apply should make their compliments and comments to their line manager or persons to whom they consider their compliments/comments are most relevant.
Compliments are valuable, and important to us and when they are received, they will be recorded and reported on. Compliments enable us to:
- understand from our supporters and stakeholders what we do well and the positive difference this makes;
- provide positive feedback to our team – whether paid or unpaid;
- influence the continued development of what we do, why and how.
It is always helpful to hear what people think about us; what we do and how. Compliments and comments are welcome because they:
- help to influence the organisational decisions we may make;
- help maintain the standards of our programmes;
- raise issues of real importance and can lead to change for the better.
Wherever we can, we will record and report, internally and externally if required, on comments we receive. We will endeavour to acknowledge compliments and comments wherever possible but whilst this may not always be practicable, please be assured that they are always appreciated.
We recognise that there will be times when our directors, employees, volunteers, freelancers and artists working with or representing Breathe make mistakes or get things wrong.
When we receive a complaint, we will always take this seriously, record and report on it internally and externally if required, and deal with it in a timely manner. We will always take steps to maintain the confidentiality of your personal information. We will only disclose it to people who need to look into your complaint, and, rarely, to others where we are legally permitted to do so.
Defining a Complaint
We define a complaint as “an expression of dissatisfaction, however made about actions taken or a lack of action by Breathe, or someone acting on behalf of Breathe.”
Where it is unclear whether a communication is indeed a complaint, we will endeavour to confirm this with you, in so far as we can. If the communication or comment is done anonymously, we may not be able to treat it as a complaint under this policy.
The following issues (this is not an exhaustive list) will be treated as complaints as they touch upon Breathe’s core values. Accusations of:
- inappropriate/improper fundraising methods;
- poor standards of service including accusations of professional incompetence or misconduct;
- financial losses/waste;
- criminality within or involving Breathe;
- Breathe being deliberately used for significant private advantage;
- non-compliance with Breathe’s own policies/procedures;
- non-compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
Please note: under certain circumstances we may not be able to respond to a complaint including where:
- you have not identified yourself or provided your contact details;
- your complaint is not about Breathe;
- your expression of the complaint is insufficiently clear;
- your complaint has been sent to us and other organisations as part of a bulk mailing or email.
However, Breathe will still take the complaints seriously and deal with them appropriately, including contacting you where we are able to, to discuss the matter further.
Sharing your Compliments, Comments & Complaints with us
Set out below are the details of how and to whom you should submit your feedback:
Complaints relating to the Breathe Managing Director or a Director ONLY:
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- in writing: FAO David Owen, Chair, Breathe Arts Health Research The Clarence Centre for Enterprise and Innovation 6 St. George’s Circus London SE1 6FE
- phone: 020 3290 2013
All other Compliments, Comments and Complaints:
- email: email@example.com
- in writing: FAO Yvonne Farquharson, Managing Director, Breathe Arts Health Research The Clarence Centre for Enterprise and Innovation 6 St. George’s Circus London SE1 6FE
- phone: 020 3290 2013
Our process for dealing with complaints
Where a complaint has been submitted in accordance with this policy, Breathe will acknowledge your complaint within five working days, explain the process that will be followed and when a decision will be made.
Following a thorough and fair investigation by us to establish the facts surrounding the complaint, we will always attempt to provide a full, written response within 15 working days. There may be occasions where this is not possible, and we will always notify you of this and advise you of the date by which you are likely to receive a response to your complaint against Breathe. When notifying you of the outcome of our investigation and any follow up action taken, we will confirm to whom you should submit an appeal in the event that you wish to contest the outcome. An appeal must be submitted in writing within 15 working days from the date of the letter notifying you of the outcome and must satisfy one or more of the criteria set out below.
Appealing our response
Any appeal must be in writing and satisfy one or more of the following criteria:
- you have new, relevant information to present (which you have not previously submitted);
- we have failed to consider adequately or at all information you provided in connection with the complaint;
- the response to your complaint is perverse in that no reasonable person could have reached that conclusion based on the information provided to them.
We will acknowledge receipt of your appeal within five working days. We will always attempt to provide a full response to your appeal within 15 working days. There may be occasions where this is not possible, and where this is the case, we will always advise you and notify you of a date by when you may receive a response. Our outcome response, which will always be in writing, is final; there will be no further redress within Breathe but listed below are external organisations to whom you may refer.
Complaints against the Managing Director or a member of the Board of Directors
If your complaint relates to the Managing Director or a Board Director, the complaint will be investigated by the Chair of the Board of Directors. The appeal will be investigated by the remaining members of the Board of Directors.
If your complaint relates to the Chair of the Board of Directors, the the complaint will be investigated by the Managing Director. The appeal will be investigated by the remaining members of the Board of Directors.
Taking your complaint outside of Breathe
In the event that you remain dissatisfied with the response you have received, you are entitled to take your concerns to any relevant statutory body, including but not limited to: