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MYPAS Standards of Service

MYPAS endeavours to offer a high quality service that most appropriately meets the needs of children, young people and their families.

We welcome comments and feedback. We want to ensure that the services we offer best meet the needs of those who use our services. Your comments about what has been helpful, or not so helpful, will help us to assess and evaluate what we do and make changes if necessary.

If you have any comments about the service offered, or if you have any ideas about how the service can be improved, then please discuss them with your Counsellor or their Service Manager.

CODE OF PRACTICE

All the counsellors who practice with the project adhere to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Ethical Framework and Statement of Ethics. If you would like to see the codes, please ask your counsellor.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH OUR SERVICES

Usually, a word with your worker will suffice should a problem arise. However, we recognise that from time to time there may be occasions when users of our services feel that the quality or level of service provided fall short of what they could reasonably expect. We also want to know about these occasions so that we can make good the problem and plan to avoid its repetition. If you have a complaint, we would like you to tell us about it.

We want to know if you are unhappy or dissatisfied about any aspects of the service offered to you as soon as possible in order that we can work to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. All feedback will be treated seriously and confidentially:

• If you feel anyone has been inefficient or slow in responding to you

• If you feel you have not received a satisfactory service

• If you are concerned about or unhappy with anything the staff, volunteers, or counsellors have said or done

COMPLAINTS

The aims of our complaints procedure

We seek to ensure that:

  • it is simple to contact us – complaints can be received via any medium, including verbally, by telephone, electronically, via video service or in writing
  • complaints are acknowledged and investigated as quickly as possible, and within the timeframes outlined below
  • you are kept updated and informed about the progress of your complaint
  • we listen thoroughly to all feedback to help us to review and improve our services
  • we communicate to you about any service improvements made as a result of your complaint

Investigations into all complaints will be completed within 6 months of receipt of the complaint. Complaints covered by this procedure can be made against counsellors (paid staff, sessional workers or unpaid volunteers), any member of the counselling service (MYPAS Chief Executive, Service Managers or our Core Team administrative support).

WHO CAN COMPLAIN

• Anyone who uses MYPAS services

• Anyone who has accessed services in the past 2 years

• Anyone who has made enquiries about our services

• Anyone who is on the waiting list

• Anyone representing someone who meets the above criteria

Anonymous complaints will be investigated by the MYPAS Chief Executive or Chair of the Board of Directors.

ACCESSING MYPAS COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

This complaints procedure is available on request by contacting MYPAS at enquiries@mypas.co.uk.

The complaints procedure can be translated, viewed in larger text and read out loud from our website.

In addition, information on BACP’s complaints procedure or COSCA’s complaints procedure and COSCA’s contact details are passed on to clients once they have started seeing a counsellor.

HOW TO COMPLAIN

Contact the counsellor or their Service Manager with the details of your complaint. You can do this either:

• In person

• Through a friend or representative

• In writing (assistance can be provided if someone is unable to write)

• By telephone

• Audio or video recording

• By e-mail

You can also complain to the people who fund the service. They will have their own procedure for dealing with complaints. Ask MYPAS for a list of its current funders then contact them directly for their complaints procedures.

WHAT IF I NEED HELP TO COMPLAIN ABOUT MYPAS

We accept complaints from third parties representing someone wishing to complain about our services. Help may be available from Citizens’ Advice Bureau, COSCA or advocacy services.

WHAT WE WILL DO ON RECEIPT OF YOUR COMPLAINT

MYPAS will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days and will tell you who will be investigating it.

We will appoint a responsible individual to manage the complaints procedure from within MYPAS

Investigators or members of a complaints panel will be impartial and independent of the complainant and person/ service location complained against and will act confidentially in their handling of the complaint.

Depending on the nature of the complaint, and who it is against, your complaint may be investigated by the Chief Executive or the Chair of the Board of Directors.

All parties involved in the complaint can, where relevant, declare a conflict of interest.

Evidence from either party will be heard separately and not together by the investigator and/or complaints panel. The complainant and the party or parties complained against and/or their representative will not attend any complaints panel at the same time.

The party complained against and the complainant have the right to attend the complaints panel meeting and be accompanied and/or represented by someone of their choice.

We will then contact you, within 15 working days of receiving your complaint, with written details of the outcome of the investigation.

The person managing the complaints procedure can halt the complaint at any stage should it emerge that legal action is under way, pending or intended and that the above person can halt the procedure until any legal process is complete.

Following investigation there are a number of possible sanctions such as additional supervision being made available to the counsellor, additional training being identified, MYPAS’s disciplinary procedure being implemented, and suspension from service.

Once the investigation has been concluded, Carers of West Lothian will submit the Report to XX at conclusion of the complaints proceedings.

WHERE TO SEND YOUR COMMENTS AND COMPLAINTS

MYPAS’s Chief Executive can be contacted at:

Tolbooth Hall, 176 High Street, Dalkeith EH22 1AY

Tel: 0131 454 0757 E-mail: enquiries@mypas.co.uk

The chair of the Board of Directors can also be contacted in writing at the above address.

WHAT IF I AM NOT SATISFIED WITH THE OUTCOME OF MY COMPLAINT

Within MYPAS there is an Appeals Procedure against decisions made. If you are not satisfied with the response you have received, you should write to the Chair of the MYPAS Board, marking the envelope ‘private and confidential’ and send it to the address above.

Your letter will be acknowledged within 5 working days. The Chairperson will investigate your complaint and may contact you for further information. You will be informed of the outcome of this investigation and any action to be taken in writing 15 working days from the date of the letter of acknowledgement.

Should the situation not be rectified following this extensive process, the Counsellor’s Professional Body (BACP) can be contacted: https://www.bacp.co.uk/about-us/protecting-the-public/professional-conduct/howto-complain-about-a-bacp-member/

If you are still not satisfied, you can contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman www.publicguardian-scotland.gov.uk