It is our goal to ensure that the services we provide are of the best quality and serve our clients/stakeholders well. We want to hear about your experiences of our services, and to capture compliments and comments so that where the service is working well, we can build on that success.
From time to time, services do not operate as well as they should, and when that happens, the European Federation of Neurological Associations [EFNA] is committed to putting right any wrong. This paper outlines how EFNA will listen to and act on the feedback we get from the people using our services. It will explain how you can make a comment, pay a compliment or make a complaint and advises you on your rights as a service user.
What is EFNA’s feedback policy?
EFNA has a feedback policy in place for our service. The policy ensures that everyone has a right to make comments about the services they have received. We welcome all comments, compliments and complaints from service users, members, sponsors/funders, etc. about the services we provide.
Making a comment, compliment or complaint.
How can I make a complaint, comment or pay a compliment?
You can make complaints, comments or pay compliments in a number of ways: verbal, written, email or fax:
a) You can write to us at:
European Federation of Neurological Associations
11 Rue d’Egmont, B1000, Brussels, Belgium
b) You can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Definition of a complaint
A complaint can be made about any action that does not accord with fair or sound administrative practice, and adversely affects the person by whom or on whose behalf the complaint is made;
You can make a complaint about the service or action that you consider to be unfair and that negatively affects you or has affected you in the past. This could mean any action that is:
a) taken without prior permission or authority,
b) taken for unnecessary reasons,
c) the result of carelessness or negligence,
d) based on wrong or incomplete information,
f) based on bad administrative practice.
When making a complaint, you can choose to remain anonymous or give your name and contact details. We encourage you to give your details if you make a complaint so that we can investigate it and let you know the outcome.
If you make a complaint by phone or in person, the Board Member or staff taking the details of the complaint will encourage you to give your name and telephone number. They will tell you that unless you give a name and contact details, it may not be possible to investigate the complaint properly.
If you are making a complaint about a particular person and you are giving that person’s name, you must complain in writing. You should give sufficient details, such as dates and locations, so that the complaint can be verified.
Should the complaint involve the Executive Director, the investigation will be carried out by a designated Board Member – as mentioned above.
What happens to my complaint, comment or compliment?
Acknowledgement of feedback
All feedback will be acknowledged within 5 working days.
Upon a complaint being received, EFNA will notify, within 5 working days, the complainant, in writing, that the complaint has been received. You will be told what steps we propose to take in investigating the complaint and the time limits for the completion of the investigation.
What does EFNA do if I have made a complaint?
EFNA takes every complaint seriously.
Once we receive a complaint, we will respond to it promptly and wherever possible, we will do our best to resolve the complaint quickly. An immediate resolution to all complaints may not be possible, as some will require formal and careful consideration.
It is expected that the majority of complaints can be resolved informally. If informal resolution is not appropriate or turns out not to be successful, the Executive Director or designated Board Member will start a formal investigation of the complaint.
The Executive Director or designated Board Member will investigate a complaint within 30 working days of the acknowledgement of the complaint. They may call on other Board Members, witnesses, experts and so on to assist with the investigation.
If the complaint cannot be investigated within 30 days of acknowledging the complaint, this will be communicated to the complainant before this timeframe passes. They will also indicate the time it will take to complete the investigation and must then update you every 20 working days until the matter is resolved.
We will do our best to complete investigations into complaints within six months of receiving the complaint. If we cannot meet this deadline, the Executive Director or designated Board Member must inform you that the investigation is taking longer than six months. They must tell you why it is delayed and outline the plan of action for the complaint.
Any person who wants to make a complaint can appoint an advocate to assist them in making their complaint and support them in managing that complaint.
How long do I have to make a complaint?
A complaint should be made within 12 months of the date of the action giving rise to the complaint or within 12 months of the complainant becoming aware of the action giving rise to the complaint.
The Executive Director may extend the time limit for making a complaint if special circumstances make it appropriate to do so. These special circumstances include but are not exclusive to the following:
•If the complainant is ill or bereaved
•If the new relevant, significant and verifiable information relating to the action becomes available to the complainant
•If it is considered in the public interest to investigate the complaint
•If the complaint concerns an issue of such seriousness that it cannot be ignored
•Diminished capacity of the service user at the time of the experience e.g. mental health, critical/long-term illness
•Where extensive support was required to make the complaint and this took longer than 12 months
What about privacy and confidentiality?
We are committed to keeping private and confidential any information you give when making a complaint. All our staff/board members are responsible for ensuring that your privacy and confidentiality are maintained.
What happens next?
The Executive Director will write a report of their investigation and give a copy of the report to you and the person/body which was the subject of the complaint.
The final report will include any recommendations needed to resolve the matter. The Executive Director will invite everyone involved to contact them with questions about any issues and will advise you of your right to a review of the recommendations made.
Within 30 working days of receiving the report from the CEO, the organisation must implement the Executive Director’s recommendations. If you request a review of the investigation, EFNA will suspend the implementation of any recommendations and will inform you of this suspension. In some cases, the Executive Director may decide not to proceed with a complaint if they believe it is not appropriate to do so, or if the matter has already been resolved.
EFNA will use complaints, comments and suggestions to identify any improvements that are needed to enhance the quality of our services. They also provide us with an opportunity to review our current procedures which give rise to complaints.