Complaints Procedure

Therapy Institute Complaints Procedures (– Service Users) 2021.





This document attempts to outline expectations and procedures that will contribute to best standards of practice for management and professional staff while complying with the Health Act 2004.


The procedures are designed to reflect the importance of a respectful collaborative relationship between Therapy Institute, it’s staff and service users.


The objectives include the balancing of continued improvements towards best practice in our service, with justice for the individual. Best practice includes attention to the rights and needs of clients, acknowledging imbalances of power in the relationships between professional staff and clients. Justice for the individual includes the importance of clear expectations, transparency of process and procedures that are as fair and uniform as possible.


The following procedure sets out the action to be taken by the Clinical Director if a concern arises or a complaint is made about Therapy Institute and its staff. It is also intended to identify, if possible, any underlying reasons for the concern or complaint and to ensure that this does not re-occur, insofar as this is possible.




Definition of a complaint


As per the Health Act 2004, part 45. “Complaint” means a complaint made under this part about any action of Therapy Institute that –

  • It is claimed, does not accord with fair or sound administrative practice, and
  • Adversely affects the person by whom or on whose behalf the complaint is made.




Who can make a complaint?


Any person who is being or was provided Therapy Services within Therapy Institute or who has sought the provision of such service may complain about any action of Therapy Institute that-


  • It is claimed, does not accord with fair and sound administrative practice, and
  • Adversely affects or affected that person.




How to comment, complain or compliment


You can contact us to discuss any concerns or comments you have on the service in the following ways:


  • Tell the therapist you are seeing
  • Email the office at or the Clinical Director at
  • Call us on 01 -8061401
  • Send a letter to Therapy Institute, 23 Fitzwilliam Street Upper, Dublin 2.


When you contact us directly, we will try to help you straight away or within 48 hours




Making a Formal Complaint



After speaking with us, If the matter is then not resolved to your satisfaction, we ask that you make a formal complaint in writing. Your complaint should include:


  • Who was involved
  • What happened and when
  • What your concerns are
  • Have you done anything to resolve the matter
  • What you want to happen now




What happens after you make a complaint?


If you have made a formal written complaint, we will let you know we have received your complaint within 10 working days. Then we will:


  • Appoint a Complaints Officer
  • Look into your complaint and respond within 30 working days
  • Contact you to ask for more time, if needed
  • Keep you updated every 20 working days after that
  • We may call, write or request to meet with you to discuss your complaint further.
  • Following investigation of your complaint, the complaints officer will draw up a report and give copies to you, the Clinical Director and/ or staff member that was subject of the complaint.
  • This report will include any recommendations needed to resolve the matter.
  • You are welcome to contact the complaints officer with any questions regarding their report.






If you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint, you may request a review of your complaint by the Complaints Committee. A request for a review must be made within 30 days of the investigation report being sent out. The complaints committee of Therapy Institute is made up of a member of the Board of Directors, the Clinical director and an external professional person. You can contact the Complaints Committee by writing to The Chair, Board of Directors, 74 Tyrconnell Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8.


The Complaint’s Committee role is to:


  • Determine the appropriateness of the recommendation made by the Complaints Officer, having regard to 1. All aspects of the complaint, 2. The investigation of the complaint.
  • Having determined the appropriateness of the recommendation to uphold it, vary it or make a new recommendation.


Implementation of Recommendations made by Complaints Committee

  • Within 30 working days the Clinical Director will write to the Complainant and the Chair, detailing recommendation.
  • Where a recommendation, the implementation of which would require or cause the Executive to make a material amendment to its approved service plan, the Clinical Director may amend or reject the recommendation.
  • Where the recommendation is being amended or rejected or where alternative measures are being taken, the Clinical Director must give the reasons for their decisions.
  • The Clinical Director must put an action plan in place for the implementation of the recommendations of the investigation. The action plan, persons responsible and timeframes are to be identified and recorded.


Independent Review


If you are still dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint following the review, you may seek an independent review from the Family Therapy Association of Ireland (FTAI)


Family Therapy Association of Ireland (FTAI) is the professional body that accredits and monitors family and couple therapists in Ireland.


FTAI is a voluntary body. The association provides a code of ethics and a complaints procedure that all registered therapists sign up to and these are available for perusal on the website



Complaints Excluded


As per part 9 of the Health act, you are not entitled to make a complaint about any

of the following matters:

  1. a) a matter that is or has been the subject of legal proceedings before a court or tribunal;
  2. b) a matter relating solely to the exercise of clinical judgment by a person acting on behalf of either the Executive or Therapy Institute;
  3. c) an action taken by the Executive or a Therapy Institute solely on the advice of a person exercising clinical judgment in the circumstances described in paragraph (b)
  4. d) a matter relating to the recruitment or appointment of an employee by the Executive or Therapy Institute;
  5. e) a matter relating to or affecting the terms or conditions of a contract of employment that the Executive or Therapy Institute proposes to enter into or of a contract with an adviser that the Executive proposes to enter into under section 24;
  6. f) a matter relating to the Social Welfare Acts;
  7. g) a matter that could be the subject of an appeal under section 60 of the Civil Registration Act 2004;
  8. h) a matter that could prejudice an investigation being undertaken by the Garda Sıochana;
  9. i) a matter that has been brought before any other complaints procedure established under an enactment.

2) Subsection (1)(i) does not prevent a complaints officer from dealing with a complaint that was made to the Ombudsman or the Ombudsman for Children and that is referred by him or her to a complaints officer



Time Limits


Complaints must be made within 12 months of the incident that caused you to complain

(As per Section 47, part 9 of the Health Act 2004).


A Complaints Officer may extend the time limit for making a complaint if in the opinion of the Complaints Officer special circumstances make it appropriate to do so. These special circumstances include but are not exclusive to the following:

  • If you are ill or bereaved
  • If new relevant, significant and verifiable information relating to the action becomes available to you
  • If it is considered in the public interest to investigate the complaint
  • If your concerns an issue of such seriousness that it cannot be ignored
  • Diminished capacity of the service user at the time of the experience e.g. mental health, critical/ long-term illness.
  • Where extensive support was required to make the complaint and this took longer than 12 months
  • A Complaints Officer must notify the complainant of decision to extend / not extend time limits within 5 working days.


You may withdraw your complaint at any time.



Unreasonable complainant behaviour


Therapy Institute will take all reasonable measures to try to resolve your complaint.


If you do not accept these efforts and your behaviour becomes abusive, unreasonable or vexatious, Therapy Institute has the right to invoke the Policy for Dealing with Vexatious Complaints.




Information Recorded


Following your complaint, we will record on file: Your name and contact details, your complaint and the record of complaint investigation and outcome.






You have the right to appoint an advocate working on your behalf to assist you to make a complaint if you are unable to do so yourself.


The Citizen Information (Comhairle 2005) defines advocacy as a means of empowering people by supporting them to assert their views and claim their entitlements and where necessary, representing and negotiating on their behalf.





Refusal to investigate or further investigate complaints.


We will not investigate your complaint if— a. the person who made the complaint is not entitled under section 46 to do so either on the person’s own behalf or on behalf of another,

  1. the complaint is made after the expiry of the period specified in section 47(2) or any extension of that period allowed under section 47(3).


We may decide not to investigate or further investigate an action to which a complaint relates if, after carrying out a preliminary investigation into the action or after proceeding to investigate such action, that we— (a) are of the opinion that—


  1. the complaint does not disclose a ground of complaint provided for in section 46,
  2. the subject-matter of the complaint is excluded by section 48,
  3. the subject-matter of the complaint is trivial, or
  4. the complaint is vexatious or not made in good faith,


(b) are satisfied that the complaint has been resolved.


(3) we shall, as soon as practicable after determining that we are prohibited by subsection (1) from investigating a complaint or after deciding under subsection (2) not to investigate or further investigate a complaint, inform you in writing of the determination or decision and the reasons for it.











We aim to resolve all complaints within a 6 months’ time period. Following review, if your complaint is upheld, you can expect Therapy Institute to offer you, but not limited to, one of the following-


  • An apology
  • An explanation
  • A Change of Decision
  • Correction of misleading or incorrect records
  • A full review of internal practices and procedures







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