Independent complaints reviewer

About the reviewer

IPSO's independent complaints reviewer is Trish Haines. She undertakes reviews of handling of investigated complaints to ensure the process has been fair and transparent.

Trish comes from a local government background, and served twice as Chief Executive. Her professional background is in social care, where she worked in both adult and children’s services in Warwickshire, Berkshire and Yorkshire. Since retiring in 2014, she has held non-Executive roles in the NHS, Age UK and Malvern Theatres.

She has broad experience of overseeing a range of regulatory regimes in both statutory and voluntary settings.

About the review process

Any request for review must be made in writing within 14 days of any decision being issued. IPSO must then decide whether to refer the complaint to the Independent Complaints Reviewer.

The reviewer’s role is to consider whether the process followed by IPSO in investigating and ruling on the complaint was substantially flawed. Examples of issues she would consider are:

  • Did both sides to the complaint have the opportunity to see and comment on all of the evidence considered by the Committee?
  • Did the Committee have access to all of the evidence it needed to make its decision?
  • Did the Committee give full consideration to the arguments of both sides and the evidence supporting them?

She has access to all correspondence relating to the complaint, and is able to ask questions if necessary to inform her review. She then writes to IPSO’s Chairman within 14 days with her decision on whether the process was flawed.

If the Independent Complaints Reviewer finds that the process was not flawed, the decision is then published, so long as there are no other outstanding issues to be resolved.

If the Independent Complaints Reviewer finds that the process was flawed, the complaint returns to the Committee for reconsideration, taking into account the process flaw identified by the Reviewer. The final decision on the complaint is then made by the Committee.