Service user appeal
As a service user, you may disagree with a decision we have made relating to the service we provide to you. We seek to continually improve our services and promote equality, fairness and transparency in everything we do. You have the right to expect that all decisions made about the service we provide to you are made properly and fairly. If you are not happy with a decision we have made relating to our service, please let us know straight away.
Guide Dogs Appeals Policy
Removal or denial of a service
Customer feedback and complaints - your right to be heard;
A guide to our customer appeals process.
Our vision is for a society in which people who are blind and partially sighted enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.
Our purpose is to promote the health, equality, and independence of blind and partially sighted people.
We simply could not achieve our purpose without the commitment and generosity of our fundraisers, volunteers, supporters, and service users. We strive to deliver the highest standard of service to all those who engage with us and to ensure that all our service users as well as our supporters have a positive experience of Guide Dogs.
As a recipient or potential recipient of one of our services, you may disagree with a decision we have made relating to the service we provide you. We seek to continuously improve our services and promote equality, fairness and transparency in everything we do. You have a right to expect that all decisions made about the service we provide to you are made properly and fairly. If you are not happy with a decision we have made relating to our service, please let us know straight away.
We value your comments, we learn important lessons from the feedback we receive that helps us improve our services, and we promise to respond to all appeals in a professional, consistent and transparent manner, and aim to resolve them as swiftly as possible.
Below are the details of what to do if you wish to appeal against a decision, we have made concerning a service you have applied for or have previously received.
Which decisions may be appealed?
If you do not agree with a decision that we have made to either decline an application for a service or to permanently withdraw an existing service, then you may have the right to appeal that decision.
All decisions to decline an application for a service or to permanently withdraw an existing service are capable of appeal save for a decision not to allow an application for a guide dog where:
- the application has been made within 12 months of a previous dog having been withdrawn on animal welfare grounds; or
- where an application has been closed following the applicant turning down two matches for a dog which have been deemed by Guide Dogs to meet their identified mobility and lifestyle needs.
How to appeal?
If you wish to appeal, you should do so as soon as possible and in any event within 28 days of being told of the decision.
Decisions around the withdrawal or denial of a service will be confirmed in writing by one of our local teams. An Appeal Application Form should accompany this decision and you should use this form to let us know you want to appeal. If the form has not been sent you can contact the Customer Feedback and Complaints team who will send a form to you.. This form will help us to understand your concerns.
Your completed Appeal Application Form, together with any supporting documentation, must be submitted to Guide Dogs within the 28-day time limit.
If you would find it helpful, it is acceptable for you to ask another person, such as a friend or family member, to act as an advocate on your behalf. This would be to help you complete any paperwork and to help you as you go through the process. This advocate would be given access to all correspondence throughout the process so that you can gain the support you need. If you would like someone to help you, please state this on the appeal application form and provide their name and contact details. We can only provide for one advocate.
Appeal Application Form
You can raise your concern with your local team or by contacting the Customer Feedback and Complaints team. You need to complete the Appeal Application Form which you can download below. You then need to send it onto us in order for us to proceed with your appeal.
If you’re not sure who to contact, call our Customer Feedback and Complaints Team on: 0800 953 0031 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
or write to:
Customer Feedback and Complaints
Or visit our website at: www.guidedogs.org.uk/complaints for more information.
Once you’ve made contact and we have received your completed Appeal Application Form, your concern will be logged and reviewed.
The appeal is initially considered locally. You will retain the right to ask for a further review by Guide Dogs’ National Internal Review Panel once the local reconsideration of your case has been considered. You will need to do so within 14 days from notification to you of the local decision.
If considered by the National Internal Review Panel, it will review the decision previously made and will provide a written record of its decision. If it considers that the local decision was correct you retain the right to ask for the appeal to be further considered by an external adjudicator. You must make a request for external adjudication within 14 days from notification to you of the National Internal Review Panel’s decision.
The adjudicator may either confirm that the decision previously made should stand or may overturn it. The adjudicator’s decision will be final. You will be provided with a copy of the adjudicator’s decision.
The adjudicator will consider the matter based on the documentation submitted. He or she may however request additional information from either party to assist them in their review.
Is the process confidential?
Only those directly involved in the appeal process will have access to the information you provide. You will be made aware of who this is. We will handle information in line with Data Protection legislation.
What will happen to my appeal?
We aim to resolve issues as quickly as possible.
We will keep you up to date with the process and if we require any additional information from you, we will inform you of this during the process.
We are committed to treating all appeals seriously, sensitively, and with discretion and understanding. If your concern relates to any of our services or another aspect of our work, then you can refer the matter to The Charity Commission or phone 0300 066 9197.
Please also note that in rare circumstances there may be a situation where the police or other statutory authorities have intervened or are about to intervene in relation to your complaint. In such circumstances this may mean that we are unable to proceed with your complaint.
Registered office: The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Hillfields, Burghfield Common, Reading, Berkshire RG7 3YG. The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales. Company No. 291646. Registered Charity no. 209617 (England and Wales), SC038979 (Scotland) and 1334 (Isle of Man).