The NCHP is committed to providing excellent customer service in all our work.
We have grievance and complaints processes to address concerns about our work, staff, or members.
Vexatious complaints can cause substantial disruption to our work and take up a disproportionate cost and time to handle.
A vexatious complaint is a term that may also include complaints that are persistent, frivolous, malicious or abuse our grievance or complaints processes.
This policy explains the NCHP’s approach to recognising and handling vexatious complaints.
What is a vexatious complaint?
The person making a complaint cannot themselves be considered vexatious. Even if a person’s complaint is found to be vexatious, this does not preclude that same person from raising a separate complaint. This distinction is essential as we may deal with individuals who may be going through a challenging time or are unwell and may not believe that their complaint is vexatious.
Whether a complaint is vexatious will be determined on a case-by-case basis. In assessing vexatiousness, we will have regard to:
- Whether the primary purpose of the complaint is to cause distress, disturb or pressurise the respondent.
- Whether the complaint seeks to revisit matter(s) already responded to. This stipulation includes situations where multiple associated complaints are received with minor variations.
- Whether there is an unwillingness by the complainant to follow standard procedures and/or repeated attempts to contact specific staff or officers are made.
- Whether there is a refusal to provide any information requested relevant to the complaint.
- Whether the administrative burdens are proportionate to the issues raised.
- Any intimidating, aggressive or threatening behaviour.
- Any bullying or harassment (please refer to the NCHP Bullying and Harassment Policy).
Dealing with vexatious complaints:
If the NCHP decides that a complaint is vexatious, the complaints officer will inform the complainant in writing, providing reasons for the NCHP’s decision within 28 days. In addition, the complaints officer may inform the complainant that the NCHP will not enter any further communication concerning the complaint. The NCHP will retain all correspondence following the NCHP’s data retention policy.
This policy is adapted from the UKCP Vexatious Complaints Policy and ratified by The Academic Board on 16-5-22.