Manchester Action on Street Health (MASH) strives to provide services to a very high
standard as expected by all our service users. If we fail to do this we want to know about it.
This will enable us not only to deal with the specific problem, but also to prevent it
We encourage complaints, comments and compliments as feedback upon which we can
develop and improve the services and functions we deliver. We will strive to respond to all
of these in a positive manner, dealing with complaints in the manner set out in this
MASH views complaints as an opportunity to learn and improve for the future, as well as a
chance to put things right for the person [or organisation] that has made the complaint.
This document sets out our policy regarding complaints and the procedures we will follow
when we receive a complaint from a service user, an organisation, or member of the public.
It does not address complaints regarding staffing or volunteering issues or recruitment and
selection, which are covered by separate procedures.
This document describes the process MASH will take when a complaint is raised. This
includes the process for recording, investigating and responding to complaints, as well as
the appeals process.
Our policy is:
- To provide a fair complaints procedure which is clear and easy to use for anyone
wishing to make a complaint
- To publicise the existence of our complaints procedure so that people know how to
contact us to make a complaint
- To make sure everyone at MASH knows what to do if a complaint is received
- To make sure all complaints are investigated fairly and in a timely way
- To make sure that complaints are, wherever possible, resolved and that relationships
- To gather information which helps us to improve what we do
In many cases, a complaint is best resolved by the person responsible for the issue being
complained about. If the complaint has been received by that person, they may be able to
resolve it swiftly and should do so if possible and appropriate. Whether or not the complaint
has been resolved, the complaint information should be passed to the MASH Chief
Executive within five business days.
On receiving the complaint, the Chief Executive records it in the Complaints Log. If it has not
already been resolved, they delegate an appropriate person to investigate it and to take
Where the complaint is against the Chief Executive the same procedure should be followed,
but with a Trustee taking on the role and function of the investigator at all stages.
If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a fair
opportunity to respond.
Complaints should be acknowledged by the person handling the complaint within five
The acknowledgement should say who is dealing with the complaint and when the person
complaining can expect a reply. A copy of this complaints procedure should be attached.
Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within a month. If this is not possible
because for example, an investigation has not been fully completed, a progress report
should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be given.
Whether the complaint is justified or not, the reply to the complainant should describe the
action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and any
action taken as a result of the complaint.
If the complainant feels that the problem has not been satisfactorily resolved at Stage One,
they can request that the complaint is reviewed at Board level. The complainant may
choose to work with a third party representative at this stage and throughout the process.
At this stage, the complaint will be passed to the Board of Trustees. The request for Board
level review should be acknowledged within five working days of receiving it. The
acknowledgement should say who will deal with the case and when the complainant can
expect a reply.
The Board of Trustees may investigate the facts of the case themselves or delegate a
suitably senior person to do so. This may involve reviewing the paperwork of the case and
speaking with the person who dealt with the complaint at Stage One. The person who dealt
with the original complaint at Stage One should be kept informed of what is happening.
If the complaint relates to a specific person, they should be informed and given a further
opportunity to respond. Ideally complainants should receive a definitive reply within a
month. If this is not possible because for example, an investigation has not been fully
completed, a progress report should be sent with an indication of when a full reply will be
given. Whether the complaint is upheld or not, the reply to the complainant should describe
the action taken to investigate the complaint, the conclusions from the investigation, and
any action taken as a result of the complaint. The decision taken at this stage is final, unless
the Board decides it is appropriate to seek external assistance with resolution.
As MASH is a registered charity, the complainant can complain to the Charity Commission at
any stage. Information about the kind of complaints the Charity Commission can involve
itself in can be found on their website at: https://www.gov.uk/complain-about-charity
Variation of the Complaints Procedure
The Board may vary the procedure for good reason. This may be necessary to avoid a
conflict of interest, for example, a complaint about a Chair or trustee should not also have
the Chair and/or trustee involved as a person leading a Stage Two review.
Where a complainant pursues staff and/or volunteers outside the scope of the law i.e.
threatening behaviour, actual or physical bodily harm etc. this shall normally render their
complaint invalid and it shall not be acted upon in any way.
If the behaviour of a complainant towards staff or volunteers is sufficient to warrant
involving the police this behaviour shall normally render their complaint invalid and it will
not be acted upon.
Complainants whom engage in behaviour that could be regarded as “vexatious litigation” in
a legal context shall not have their complaints dealt with. The Chief Executive shall be
responsible for identifying complainants acting as such and shall submit this information to
the Senior Leadership Team and this information shall be recorded for future reference,
using a Complaints Log. If at any point in the future, an individual or organisation recorded
in this way makes another complaint, consideration shall be given to whether or not to
disregard that complaint.
The decision to dismiss complaints without investigation should not be taken lightly or
liberally and must be escalated to the Senior Leadership Team before a decision is made. A
record of disregarded complaints must be kept for reporting to the Board of Trustees.
Anonymous complaints will not be investigated.
Monitoring and Learning from Complaints
Complaints are reviewed annually to identify any trends which may indicate a need to take
Next review date December 2023