We recognise that most complaints can be resolved informally through a conversation between the person who would otherwise wish to complain and the person they wish to complain about. We will always encourage you to consider, and if appropriate, try this informal process in the first instance.
However, we know this is not always appropriate or possible. So we have a three-stage process which you can use for more formal complaints.
Stage One: Complaint to the Assistant Diocesan Secretary
If you want to make a formal complaint your first step is to contact the Assistant Diocesan Secretary. You can do this by:-
Telephoning 0151 702 9722
or writing to Assistant Diocesan Secretary
Diocese of Liverpool
St James House
Liverpool L1 7BY
If you make a telephone complaint then we will record the details in writing and share that with you to check that we have understood the issue(s) properly.
It will help us to help you if you can give us as much detail as possible about the complaint. Useful details include: – what happened; where and when it happened; who was involved; why you feel that you need to complain; what resolution you would be looking for. We will also need your contact details to keep you informed about progress
Once the Assistant Diocesan Secretary has received your complaint they will
acknowledge receipt within 2 working days
investigate it thoroughly and appropriately to establish facts and understand what efforts have been taken to resolve this informally
talk to you about your complaint to understand it in more detail
respond fully with their proposed resolution
offer a full response within 28 working days
A resolution can take many forms including, but not limited to,
a full apology taking the action a complainant desires
a full apology and taking different action from the complainant’s suggestion
rejection of the complaint
attempts to find mediation
In every case, no matter the resolution, we will seek to learn from the complaint.
We hope that this will resolve your complaint to your satisfaction. However, if you are not satisfied with the outcome then you can progress to the next stage You will need to inform the Assistant Diocesan Secretary of your desire to move to Stage Two within 10 working days.
Stage Two: Chair of the Independent Safeguarding Monitoring Group
If you wish to go to this stage then we will pass the details to the Chair of the Independent Safeguarding Monitoring Group. We will also ask you to give your reasons why you are unhappy with our initial response to help them make a judgement.
When they have received a complaint the Independent Chair will:-
Acknowledge receipt within five working days and set out how long they think it will take them to review the complaint and reach a judgement.
Review all the documents they have received and carry out any further investigations.
This may include:
further conversations with you
discussions with the Assistant Diocesan Secretary over how they made their judgement
conversations with anyone else involved in the process
taking advice from national experts where necessary.
Respond fully, in writing, setting out their judgement on your complaint.
We aim to let you know the decision of the Independent Chair within 28 working days.. Again we hope that this resolves the matter to your satisfaction. If you are still not satisfied with our response you can go to the final stage of appeal. You will need to inform the Independent Chair within ten working days that you wish to go to appeal to the final stage.
Stage Three – Appeal to the Bishop’s Panel.
If you wish to appeal the decision then the Independent Chair will ask the Bishop of Liverpool to set up an appeal panel. The bishop will appoint three-panel members who haven’t been involved in any aspect of the case. The panel members will be members of the Diocesan Board of Finance – our most senior governance team.
Before going to appeal we will ask you to set out why you wish to appeal and why you feel that your complaint has not been treated adequately up to this point. The Panel will then be asked to review the case within 28 days of the request to appeal. They may wish to speak to you to hear your side of the story and make sure they understand your concerns.
When they have decided an outcome they will contact you in writing with their judgement and their reasons for that judgement. Their decision will be final and at this point, our complaints process will end.