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Independent review concerning complaints handling at a national charity

The client

A charity organisation

Challenge

Governance issues/complaints

Scope

Investigations and review

Our challenge was to provide an independent narrative on whether processes were being followed at one of the charity’s residential units. We were asked to review whether complaints were escalating through the appropriate channels and being dealt with satisfactorily. This followed the trustees becoming aware that the policies were not being adhered to.

Process

The review team was Verita partner Barry Morris and associate Jane Held. The team interviewed a number of staff and former staff members and reviewed policy and procedure documentation.

Findings

The team found no evidence of deliberate concealment of events and circumstances at the residential unit from the senior management or trustees. The broad circumstances at the unit were known by the wider management.

There was however poor practice regarding clinical input and delivery of care, management of staff and site, reporting practices and leadership.

The systems in place at the unit were not good enough and those that were in place were not always complied with such as rotas not being properly management and staff not being supervised and insufficient training.
Senior management did not take responsibility for instituting wholesale change to tackle the failings..

Recommendations and Outcomes

Our team recommended a review of the management team at the unit to ensure that there is a clear understanding of responsibility and accountability as well as the development of a range of performance indicators so that the quality of care can be monitored on a regular basis. We also recommended an internal review of staffing levels and training programmes.

The trust made serious efforts to identify their failures, address them and ensure that the residents at the unit received safe, skilled and individually tailored care.

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