Purpose and Scope  

The purpose of a complaints procedure is to enable people we work for to raise a problem, concern or complaint and to have the matter dealt with as quickly and fairly as possible, and that all parties involved are treated with respect and dignity.  

This procedure applies to all individuals or companies that Applied Psychology Solutions [APS; The Company] works for or with. It does not form part of our terms and conditions and the Company may depart from it depending on the circumstances of the case.  

Expert Witness Work  

An Expert Witness works for the court, and not the party that instructed them. We are unable to investigate complaints raised in a case in the following situations: 

  • Where the complaint relates to the expert’s professional opinion 
  • Where the complaint relates to the methodology used by the Expert Witness 
  • Complaints where the case is currently ongoing 
  • Complaints made anonymously 
  • Complaints made prior or during litigation or pending or potential litigation regarding the case or expert services 

If a complaint is raised by a claimant where there are issues related to any of the above, the claimant raising the complaint will be recommended to return to their solicitor to discuss the matter further, and all correspondence must be made through their solicitor or instructing party.   

Informally Raising a Complaint  

Many issues can be resolved quickly and easily by taking informal action. If it is not appropriate to raise your complaint informally, or your complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction through informal action, you should use the formal complaint procedure.  

Formally Raising a Complaint 

You should put your grievance in writing, without unreasonable delay, and send it to us at APS. The contact information is at the end of this document. 

We will ensure appropriate consent is sought from the patient or client if a third party has complained on their behalf. 

Acknowledgement  

All complaints will be acknowledged within 5 working days of receipt. The acknowledgment will include an explanation of the complaints procedure and how the complaint will be investigated. 

Investigation of Complaints 

Once a complaint is raised, this will be logged on our system, identifying the relevant information about the complaint, including the date it was received, the nature of the complaint, and the contact details of the complainant. 

Depending on the nature of the complaint, the team may liaise with other members of our team may be consulted to gather more information or investigate the issue further. We will keep the complainant informed throughout this process, providing regular updates on the progress of their complaint. 

Complaints will be investigated in a timely and thorough manner. Where possible, the investigation will be conducted by a member of the team who was not involved in the incident being complained about. The investigation will include gathering evidence and interviewing staff involved in the incident. 

After the complaint has been fully investigated, the complainant will be notified in writing of the outcome and of any action to be taken to resolve their your complaintnant. This response will normally be given in writing.  

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your grievance at Stage 1, you can appeal in writing to an appropriate Director.  

Escalating Complaints 

If a patient, their family, their carer, or a company we work with is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, they have the option to escalate the complaint to the professional body of the practitioner responsible. In the case of a Clinical Psychologist this is the HCPC.   

However, if the complaint relates to an administrative error made by our administrative team without involvement from the treating practitioner, you can request for the complaint to be escalated to the clinic manager. 

Learning and Improvement 

All complaints will be used to identify areas for improvement and to improve the services provided by APS. Feedback from complainants will be used to improve the service in the future. 

Complaining to a Practitioner’s Professional Body 

It may be appropriate to complain to a practitioner’s professional body when there is serious misconduct or unethical behaviour that may warrant a disciplinary action or a restriction on their professional practice.  

On the other hand, it may be appropriate to complain to Private Therapy Clinic when there is a complaint about the quality of care provided by the practitioner so that the company can determine whether it is appropriate to keep the practitioner on their list of practitioners that they refer clients to. 

Here are some Ssituations where you may report complaints to a practitioner’s professional body include: 

  • Serious or repeated breaches of confidentiality 
  • Misuse of patients’ personal information 
  • Misconduct, such as sexual misconduct or substance abuse. 
  • Misdiagnosis or inappropriate treatment 
  • Inappropriate prescribing practices or medication errors 
  • Failure to follow professional standards or guidelines. 
  • Inadequate training or supervision of staff 

If a complaint is made to a practitioner’s professional body, APS may be required to cooperate with the investigation. APS may also have an obligation to report any serious concerns to the relevant regulatory authorities, such as the HCPC. 

If there is a complaint about Expert Witness work and the complainant wishes to raise this with the professional body, the HCPC issue the following guidance regarding complaints, stating that they cannot do the following: 

  • get involved with matters which should be decided by a court, including dissatisfaction with evidence given by a professional in court; 
  • get a registered professional or organisation to make changes to a report. 

Professional Bodyies 

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC): 

Website: https://www.hcpc-uk.org/ 

Email: ftp@hcpc-uk.org (Fitness to Practice related queries) 

Phone: +44 (0)300 500 6184 

How to Complain. 

It’s best if you can raise a complaint at the time the issue takes place so that we can resolve it with you as soon as possible. 

You can contact our support team on team1@apsy.co.uk.  

Please write “Complaint” in the subject line of your email. 

Investigating Complaints 

To help us investigate your complaint, please give us as much information as possible. Including: 

  • Your full name and your email or home address, including your postcode 
  • Your date of birth 
  • A contact phone number in case we need to contact you for more information 
  • A clear description of what you want to complain about and when it happened 
  • Any relevant correspondence 

We do our best to acknowledge all complaints within 5 working days. 

We’ll investigate the complaint and send you our findings within 20 working days. 

We’ll let you know our findings, including any changes we’ll make as a result of our investigation.