Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre Ltd
The professionalism of our service and its commitment to providing a quality service to all of our clients and service users make it important that Lanarkshire Counselling and CBT Centre Ltd has a clear, equitable and speedy procedure for investigating and responding to complaints. All complaints will be treated confidence.
Complaints can be made against the directors, individual therapists, either paid or volunteer, also groups carrying out work related to counselling and psychotherapy on behalf of Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre Ltd. Should a complaint be made against a former worker of Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre, all investigations will be conducted for the learning of our centre in so far as identifying precise failings. Former workers of Lanarkshire counselling will be afforded the opportunity to speak on their behalf. As an organisational member of COSCA an outcome report will be sent to COSCA in line with their Standards however, the normal sanction report will not be published. If however the former worker is an individual COSCA member then COSCA may investigate the individual separately.
Due to confidentiality, complaints will not be acceptable by third parties or representatives unless Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre have prior written consent and knowledge that the complainant has been directly affected. If the complaint is against a director, it will be dealt with by an external consultant, currently Elizabeth McHard, member of BACP.
Advice and assistance in raising a complaint may be obtained from the local advocacy services, eg: Citizens Advice Coatbridge, 10 Fountain Business Centre, 1 Ellis Street, Coatbridge, ML5 3AA. Tel: 01236 421447 email@example.com If writing is problematic independent help will be offered by contacting Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre on 01236 897544. Receipt of a complaint will be offered within one working week.
Anonymous Complaintswill be logged but not progressed unless a pattern becomes evident. Individuals concerned will be advised of such complaints and given the opportunity to clarify.
If the complaint is vexatious or malicious it will be addressed as outlined below in Stage 1 and 2.
Complaints will only be dealt with if made within 3 years of the incident.
Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre will make every effort to resolve complaints at a local level. A case manager Claire Monaghan will be appointed to be the complaint’s manager. Should there be a conflict of interest then the case manager will be responsible for evaluating and handling the conflict.
Complaint Procedure Stage 1
Informal complaint: In first instance, a verbal complaint should be made to the Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre’s individual involved. The individual concerned will hear the complaint and then undertake to resolve it. If he/she is unsuccessful in resolving the matter, she will then inform the complainant how to make a formal complaint See Stage 2.
Complaint Procedure Stage 2
If unresolved, and there is evidence to support the complaint, a complaint may be made in writing to The Directors, Colin & Annemarie Caruth, Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre Ltd 22 St John Street, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, ML5 3EJ. email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01236 897544. On receipt of a written complaint related to the work of the service or any therapist (employed or volunteer) an internal enquiry will be set in motion to investigate the complaint as a matter of urgency. The complainant will be informed by letter within one week that this procedure has commenced. The complaint will be investigated by Colin Caruth, a director of Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre Ltd with strict adherence to confidentiality. He will request a written response to the complaint from the individual concerned and will meet with both parties separately, to consider the substance of the complaint and the individual’s response. At this stage Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre may pursue legal advice. The complainant must give consent to the disclosure of all parties involved in the complaint and should legal proceedings become involved, the process can be adjourned at the discretion of Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre with due regard to time restraints and confidentiality and reopened at same point it was stopped. Should the complainant be unwilling to take part in any step of the process without good cause or if the complainant withdraws the complaint in writing, then the complaint will be discontinued. Both parties will be informed in writing should this be the case.
At this meeting it may be decided that it has sufficient evidence to resolve the matter. If not it may take one or both of the following steps
- Invite the individual concerned to meet with the Director and consider further the circumstances underlying the case.
- Invite the complainant to meet the Director separately to clarify the complaint further, at which meeting, the complainant may be accompanied by a support of their choice.
Complaints Procedure Stage 3
Once the Director feels he has sufficient information available to come to a conclusion, he shall summarise his findings in writing. The summary will include
- A resume of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint.
- A resume of the individual’s response
- An indication of any outstanding dispute over matters of fact
- A recommendation of any further action to be expected of the service regarding this particular case
- A recommendation of any changes in Service Policy or practice to avoid future occurrences.
A Director of Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre Ltd shall communicate by letter to the complainant the outcome of the internal enquiry and will remind the complainant that, if not satisfied with the response, he/she may lodge an appeal.
If the complainant asks for the complaint to be appealed, a specially selected panel consisting of a minimum of three persons not involved with the management of Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre Ltd but have a good knowledge of the counselling profession will create an adjudication panel. An appeal may be initiated within 6 weeks of a written adjudication of the chairperson. Each party will have the right to be accompanied by a supportive person of their choosing. Within 8 weeks of the appeal being lodged the adjudication panel will inform the outcome of their discussion.
Involving Professional Body
If the complaint has not reached a conclusion, the complaint may be taken up with COSCA, details on our website, in PDF format www.lanarkshirecounselling.com or COSCA website www.cosca.org.uk under complaints or in writing to COSCA, 16 Melville Terrace, Stirling, FK8 2NE, telephone 01786475140.
Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre Ltd is required as an organisational member of COSCA to submit reports at the completion of the complaints proceedings. This will be sent within one month of the conclusion of Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre’s complaints procedure.
Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre is also required to notify COSCA of any sanctions applied to individual members of COSCA working for Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre. COSCA will consider taking action on receipt of these reports. They will publish upheld complaints and their sanctions regarding COSCA Member Organisations and COSCA Individual Members. COSCA will investigate Lanarkshire Counselling & CBT Centre’s complaints procedure to satisfy it meets with COSCA standards.
If the complaint is upheld, sanctions can include: termination of employment, suspension, compulsory further training or personal therapy.
All records pertaining to the complaint will be kept secure and confidential in accordance with General Data Protection Regulations 2018.