This policy sets out the complaints policy and procedure for all those who use or support (by fundraising or donating) DKMS UK’s services.
DKMS UK recruits people to be blood stem cell donors for people living with a blood cancer or blood disorder and who are in need of a stem cell transplant. We maintain contact and relationships with our registered donors for a long time – decades in many cases. When that amazing moment comes to help someone in need of a blood stem cell transplant, and give them a second chance of life, then we also carry out all the necessary education, preparation and medical assessment of the donor, before then arranging the blood stem cell donation and delivering the cells to the transplant centre. As such we are reliant on the dedication, commitment and goodwill of the incredible individuals on our register.
As part of that work in recruiting potential stem cell donors and facilitating the donation, collection and delivery of blood stem cells, we are part of a regulatory environment that requires us to report on any related quality incidents or serious adverse events or side-effects. We are part of the World Marrow Donor Association (the membership organisation that promotes global collaboration and best practices for the benefit of stem cell donors and transplant patients) and will report and share the details of our operational work and statistics, including any serious adverse events that may occur. We are also part of the UK Aligned Stem Cell Registry and share similar information with other members of the registry in order to help all organisations learn from such situations and improve their services. Such incidents may also be reported to the Human Tissue Authority which, among other things, regulates the medical processes involved with stem cell transplantation in the UK. We endeavor to work to the highest standards and to continue to develop and improve our services.
Also, as a charity registered in England and Wales and in Scotland, DKMS UK is supported in part by voluntary donations to enable it to deliver and sustain its vital work of giving people with blood cancers or blood disorders a second chance of life via a blood stem cell transplant. Much of that goodwill and support comes from people who are already registered as potential stem cell donors, but also from people who aren’t able to be on the register and from people who are affected by a blood cancer or blood disorder, as well as members of the general public.
We operate within the fundraising guidelines set out by the Charity Commission, the Office for the Scottish Charity Regulator, and the Fundraising Regulator and we endeavour to ensure that all of our fundraising activity is open and honest and adheres to the Regulator’s fundraising promise.
Our approach to our donors and supporters
DKMS UK always tries to provide a sympathetic, courteous and professional service to the people we work with and those who support our work, including through fundraising and donating. While we hope that our services or fundraising activities will not give rise to complaints, we will respond fairly, positively and promptly to any complaints received from the people we work with or supporters when they believe we have not met their expectations or needs. Furthermore, we are always pleased to hear your views on any aspect of our work or fundraising activities, so that steps can be taken to review and improve how we work, as necessary. These views may be positive, as well as negative, and will be welcomed as constructive feedback on our work.
All complaints will be treated in the strictest confidence. A complaint should be made within six months of the incident that caused the problem or within six months of discovering that there was a problem.
How to make a complaint
DKMS UK has two internal complaints procedures: an informal one and a formal one.
The internal procedures also differentiate between:
Complaints about our services or fundraising activities; and Complaints about the conduct or behaviour of DKMS UK staff, including any self-employed staff and contractors, and volunteers.
Complaints about services or fundraising activities
If your complaint is about a particular service we provide or about our fundraising activities, then you may use either the informal or formal complaints procedures, as set out below and as appropriate.
Informal complaints procedure
The informal procedure is intended to be easy to use, quick and responsive to the complaint. In the first instance, please ask to speak to the relevant manager within DKMS UK. This will depend upon the particular DKMS UK service you have been using and contact details can be found at the end of this policy. If in doubt, then contact the Chief Executive Officer. The manager will make a note of your name, contact details, the nature of your complaint and the outcome that you would like to see. The manager will attempt to resolve the complaint while speaking to you, but may also arrange a time to call you back following further research into the matter. The manager’s response will address the following:
An explanation of the circumstances surrounding the event which is the subject of the complaint. The reasons for any unsatisfactory service and, if appropriate, a formal apology, What course of action will be taken to remedy any unsatisfactory service. What you can do next if you are not satisfied with the response.
The verbal response will be made as soon as practicable, recognising that time is of the essence. Written confirmation of the complaint response will be sent to you by the manager within five working days of the verbal response.
If you believe that the informal complaints procedure has not addressed your complaint satisfactorily, then please use the formal complaints procedure below. You can, of course, decide to use the formal complaints procedure at any point during the informal procedure.
Formal complaints procedure
If you have already used the informal complaints procedure, but are not satisfied with the outcome, then please write directly to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) member (contact details below) responsible for that team, unless they were involved at the informal stage in which case write directly to the Chief Executive Officer. In writing to the SLT member please explain why you believe your complaint has not been satisfactorily resolved at the informal stage and stating what outcome you would like to see. Please write with full details of your complaint, including the outcome you would like to see, and your name and contact details.
The SLT member (who may assign the responsibility of the investigation to another senior manager within their team) will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days and respond to your complaint in full within 10 working days. During this time, we will research and investigate all the issues raised in your letter/email. It may also be necessary to contact you during this time to clarify any information in your letter. The manager’s response will include the following:
An explanation of the circumstances surrounding the event which is the subject of the complaint. The reasons for any unsatisfactory service and, if appropriate, a formal apology. What course of action will be taken to remedy any unsatisfactory service. What you can do next if you are not satisfied with the response.
If the SLT member is absent from the office for any reason, eg, annual leave or sick leave, and unable either to acknowledge, or respond to, the complaint, the matter will be taken up by another member of the SLT or the Chief Executive Officer.
If you are not satisfied with the response, please write to the Chief Executive Officer, stating the reasons why you are dissatisfied with the response from the SLT member. The Chief Executive Officer will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days and respond to your complaint within 10 working days. The Chief Executive Office’s response will address only the reasons why you were dissatisfied with the SLT manager’s response. The Chief Executive will not re-investigate the issues surrounding the complaint, unless there are clear points of disagreement or dispute. It is important that you highlight any such points.
Where the Chief Executive Officer responded to the initial complaint, due to the SLT manager’s absence or for any other reason, then you may refer your complaint directly to the Chair of DKMS UK’s Board of Trustees.
If the Chief Executive is absent from the office for any reason, eg, annual leave or sick leave, and unable either to acknowledge, or respond to, the complaint, the matter will be dealt with by the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
If you are dissatisfied with the Chief Executive Officer’s response, please state this in writing to the Chief Executive Officer within seven days of receiving the original response. The Chief Executive Officer will then forward all the correspondence to the Chair of the Board of Trustees. The Chief Executive Officer will acknowledge that this has been done within five working days and the Chair of the Board of Trustees (or another Trustee designated by the Chair) will respond within 20 working days.
The Chair’s (or designated Trustee’s) response will address only the reasons why you were dissatisfied with the manager’s and/or Chief Executive Officer’s response. The Chair (or designated Trustee) will not re-investigate the issues surrounding the complaint, unless there are clear points of disagreement or dispute. It is important that you highlight any such points.
The Chair’s (or designated Trustee’s) response is final and there is no further recourse under this policy.
You may stop the procedure at any point during any of the above stages. If you choose to do so, however, you must confirm this in writing.
Complaints about staff behaviour or conduct
Where your complaint relates directly to the conduct or behaviour of DKMS UK staff or volunteers, please make the complaint in writing to the Chief Executive Officer (see below for contact details). Where your complaint relates directly to the conduct or behaviour of the Chief Executive Officer, the complaint should be made in writing to the Chair of the Board of Trustees.
The complaint will then be dealt with in line with the procedures laid out above for the making of a formal complaint, except that it will be dealt with by the Chief Executive Officer or Chair of the Board of Trustees, as relevant. Where the complaint relates to a volunteer, a self-employed member of staff or a contractor, the Chief Executive Officer may ask the initial investigation to be carried out by the relevant line manager responsible for that person.
Complaints relating to our fundraising activities
In addition to the above procedures, any complaints relating to our fundraising activities will be subject to further scrutiny and review as part of our commitment to charitable regulation and good practice, as overseen by the Charity Commission, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, and the Fundraising Regulator.
We subscribe to and follow the Fundraising Regulator’s Code of Practice and Fundraising Promise both of which set the professional standards expected of all charitable fundraisers. Where we have breached any aspect of the code or promise, we will report and refer that complaint to the Fundraising Regulator.
For all fundraising complaints, whether informal or formal, the Head of Fundraising (or in his/her absence, the Chief Executive Officer) will have oversight of how they are handled and we will also do the following.
On receiving a complaint, we will keep a record of the following items:
a copy of the complaint, including the date on which it was received; details of the part of the Code of Fundraising Practice or Fundraising Promise it is alleged has been breached, if applicable; a copy of all communications with the complainant in connection with the complaint; details of the investigation undertaken into the complaint; the outcome of the complaint.
Following the investigation, the Head of Fundraising will present the complaint to the Chief Executive Officer and agree the appropriate response/action.
When responding about the outcome of the investigation, we will inform you of your right to refer the complaint to the Fundraising Regulator within three months of the date of the original complaint.
If DKMS UK cannot reach a satisfactory resolution with you, then your complaint will be referred to the Fundraising Regulator.
The Fundraising Regulator’s executive staff will investigate the complaint and seek a resolution with all parties concerned within 30 days. If you are still not satisfied, then you can seek adjudication by having the complaint referred to the Board of the Fundraising Regulator.
Finding help to make a complaint
You may wish to ask a friend, relative or supporter to help you with your complaint. DKMS UK will do all that it can to facilitate this and will be happy to deal with that supporter. However, all information and responses involved with the complaints procedure will be sent directly to you, unless you expressly instruct us otherwise in writing.
We keep a record of the number and type of complaints received in order to improve our services and provide relevant training to staff, as appropriate. Statistics concerning these will be regularly reviewed by the Chief Executive Officer and brought to the attention of the Board of Trustees on an annual basis. All complaints will be logged centrally and monitored.
Complaints received in relation to staff conduct or behaviour will be brought to the attention of the Board of Trustees (for the purposes of review) within three months of the complaint being received.
In relation to fundraising complaints, a summary of all our investigations and outcomes will be provided to the Fundraising Regulator each year, as part of our annual complaints return.
Employment issues, including harassment, bullying, whistleblowing, will be handled through the relevant employment policies and procedure, rather than through this policy.
Vexatious or habitual complaints
Staff may have contact with a small number of complainants who absorb a disproportionate amount of resources in dealing with their complaints. A habitual or vexatious complainant may persist in pursuing a complaint when the complaints procedure has been fully exhausted; or may change their complaint or continually raise new issues to prolong contact. They may not clearly identify issues or may focus on trivial matters to an extent that it is out of proportion to their significance. They may have an excessive number of contacts with DKMS UK, placing unreasonable demands on staff or they may become aggressive and unreasonable in their demands and expectations. Such complaints should be flagged to the SLT, who with the Chief Executive Officer, will determine if a complaint is vexatious/habitual and thereafter notify the complainant in writing of the reasons why they have been classified as habitual or vexatious complainants and the action to be taken.
The Chief Executive Officer will decide how best to deal with such complainants. This may include drawing up a signed ‘agreement’ with the complainant (which sets out a code of behaviour for the parties involved, if DKMS UK is to continue to process the complaint) or declining all further contact which should be preceded by a letter stating that we have done all that we can to resolve the complaint.
DKMS UK’s Senior Leadership Team comprises the following members of staff:
Jonathan Pearce, Chief Executive Officer Julie Roberts, Head of Customer Service Candy Stern, Head of Donor Recruitment Helen Kelly, Head of Donor Request Management Hasnein Alidina, Head of Finance Caroline Richardson, Head of Fundraising Regina Salih, Acting Head of HR Reshna Radiven, Head of Marketing and Communications
For complaints relating to DKMS UK’s support and management of blood stem cell donors, and our medically-related services, contact:
Helen Kelly, Head of Donor Request Management DKMS UK, Ashburnham House, Castle Row, Horticultural Place, London W4 4JQ Tel: 020 8747 5662 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For complaints relating to DKMS UK’s written information, website and online/offline/digital communications or marketing materials, contact:
Reshna Radiven, Head of Marketing and Communications DKMS UK, Ashburnham House, Castle Row, Horticultural Place, London W4 4JQ Tel: 020 8747 5631 Email: email@example.com
For complaints relating to DKMS UK’s handling of personal data and the logistics of dispatching, receiving and processing of blood stem cell donor registration kits, contact:
Julie Roberts, Head of Customer Service DKMS UK, Ashburnham House, Castle Row, Horticultural Place, London W4 4JQ Tel: 020 8747 5679 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For complaints relating to DKMS UK’s donor recruitment events or processes, contact:
Candy Stern, Head of Donor Recruitment DKMS UK, Ashburnham House, Castle Row, Horticultural Place, London W4 4JQ Tel: 020 8747 5646 Email: email@example.com
For complaints in relation to DKMS UK’s fundraising activities or communications, contact:
Caroline Richardson, Head of Fundraising DKMS UK, Ashburnham House, Castle Row, Horticultural Place, London W4 4JQ Tel: 020 8747 5654 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For complaints relating to DKMS UK’s recruitment practices, contact:
Regina Salih, Acting HR Manager DKMS UK, Ashburnham House, Castle Row, Horticultural Place, London W4 4JQ Tel: 020 8747 5669 Email: email@example.com
For all other complaints in relation to DKMS UK’s work or activities, or where you are unsure whom to approach, contact:
Jonathan Pearce, Chief Executive Officer DKMS UK, Ashburnham House, Castle Row, Horticultural Place, London W4 4JQ Tel: 020 8747 5627 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that all complaints may be initiated by contacting the Chief Executive Officer or Chair of the Board of Trustees directly, however, dependent upon the nature of the complaint they may then progress through the appropriate complaints procedure above.