Behavioral Health

03-AP-21     Effective: December 18, 2003

Personnel Complaints Policy

A. Purpose

Service in the public sector requires that a relationship of trust and confidence exist among State employees and the public. Department of Behavioral and Developmental Services employees are expected to exercise their best judgment in the performance of their duties while treating all persons with whom they interact in an honest, respectful, and civil manner. In addition to establishing standards of professional conduct for Department staff, the Department acknowledges an obligation to review performance brought into question by members of the public and to take appropriate corrective action when appropriate.

The purpose of this policy is to establish a standardized complaints reporting and tracking procedure to be utilized when members of the public wish to file a complaint concerning the conduct or job performance of a Department employee. BDS will make every effort to ensure that no adverse consequence occurs to any person filing a formal complaint or any person who provides information that portrays Department staff unfavorably. Any BDS employee who subjects a complainant or person who provides such information to such recrimination will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.

Investigative policies regarding patient abuse, mistreatment, neglect or exploitation and established grievance procedures related to services delivery to consumers and/or their families remain in full force and are unaffected by this policy.

B. Policy

Pursuant to 5 MRSA §7036(28), the Department of Behavioral and Developmental services establishes this procedure to investigate complaints made by members of the public about Department employees.

C. Procedure

1. BDS supports the right of any member of the public to bring forward legitimate complaints concerning allegations of employee misconduct. To this end, a copy of the document “HOW TO FILE A PERSONNEL COMPLAINT” will be posted at all agency locations and on the BDS website. A copy of this document is incorporated into this policy as Attachment #1 and will be provided to anyone requesting this information. Complaints can be filed electronically, in person, by mail, or by telephone. Anonymous complaints will not generally be accepted.

2. Any BDS supervisor or manager who receives a verbal or written complaint from a member of the public regarding the malfeasance or misfeasance of another Department staff person shall document the complaint in detail. The written complaint will be forwarded to the Facility/Regional Director or Associate Commissioner as appropriate. The complaint will be entered into the Department’s database maintained for this purpose.

3. The Facility/Regional Director or Associate Commissioner in consultation with other appropriate BDS supervisors and managers shall determine the appropriate disposition of the complaint including whether the complaint should be investigated. If after consultation the complaint appears to warrant an investigation, the Director, Human Resources shall assign a(n) investigator(s). The Bureau of Employee Relations will be consulted on potential criminal conduct to ensure appropriate collaboration and coordination with law enforcement authorities.

4. Investigations of complaints shall be completed within a reasonable time with written reports submitted as appropriate.

  • All investigations shall comply with the provisions of applicable collective bargaining agreements and agency policy.

5. Appropriate entries will be made to the Department’s database at the conclusion of the investigation and/or final agency action. The data will be available to the Office of Quality Improvement for data analysis and quality improvement purposes.

D. Report

1. When a report is written, it shall include a chronology of the investigation, a summary of interviews conducted, findings of fact, and documentation that employee’s contractual rights have been observed.

E. Notification To The Complainant

1. The complainant will be notified of the outcome of the review or investigation in accordance with civil service and BDS confidentiality laws.

F. Administrative Responsibilities

  • The Director, Human Resources is responsible to ensure that:

  • All complaints received and investigations conducted remain confidential consistent with applicable statutes.
  • All complaints and any subsequent investigations are documented and the complainant notified of the disposition of the complaint.

  • An ongoing log of investigations received and disposition of the complaint is maintained.

  • An annual summary is prepared for the Commissioner that includes statistical data that may identify training needs, enhanced supervision, or other needs.

May 5, 2004

______________________________________
Brenda M. Harvey, Commissioner

 

Attachment #1

Behavioral Health Services

How To File a Personnel Complaint

 

If you wish to file a complaint concerning the conduct or actions of a member of BDS please:

Ask to speak with any Behavioral Health supervisor or manager and inform that individual you wish to file a personnel complaint. The Behavioral Health supervisor or manager will document your concerns and forward your complaint in written form to the appropriate Facility/Regional Director or Associate Commissioner.

You may also initiate a complaint in person, by telephone, or FAX at the Behavioral Health locations indicated below.

Written complaints may also be initiated at the Behavioral Health Services, State House Station 40, Augusta, Maine 04330 Attn: Commissioner’s Office or the Director, Human Resources. Complaints should contain your name, address, and telephone number along with the specifics of your complaint.

Aroostook Residential Center
PO Box 1285
Presque Isle, Maine 04769
Voice 764-2023
TTY 764-2000
FAX 764-2011

Riverview Psychiatric Center (Formerly AMHI)
PO Box 724
Augusta, Maine 04330
Superintendent’s Office Voice 287-7230 FAX 6123
Human Resources Voice 287-7240 FAX 287-7205
TTY 287-7230 or 287-7219

Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center (Formerly BMHI)
PO Box 926
Bangor, Maine 04401
Superintendent’s Office Voice 941-4035 FAX 941-4062
Human Resources Voice 941-4070 FAX 941-4317
TTY 941-4322

Elizabeth LevinsonCenter
159 Hogan Road
Bangor, Maine 04401-5697
Voice 941-4400 or 1800-227-7706 FAX 941-4412
TTY 941-4409

BH– Central Office
11 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04330
Commissioner’s Office Voice 287-4223 FAX 287-1022
Human Resources Voice 287-4280 FAX 287-3897
TTY 287-2000 or 1-800-588-5511

Region I

Portland
175 Lancaster St.
Portland, Maine 04101
Voice 822-0270 Fax 822-0295
TTY 822-0272

Region II

Augusta
141 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0141
Voice 287-8118 Fax 287-4052
TTY 287-4238

Lewiston
15 Mollison Way
Lewiston, Maine 04240
Voice 753-9100 or 1-800-866-1803 FAX 782-1753
TTY 753-9102

Thomaston
212B New County Road
Thomaston, Maine 04861
Voice 596-2300 FAX 596-2304
TTY 596-2307

Region III

Bangor
176 Hogan Road
Bangor, Maine 04401
Voice 941-4360 or 1-800-963-9491 FAX 941-4389
TTY 941-4392

Presque Isle
642 Maine St.
PO Box 1285
Presque Isle, Maine 04769
Voice 554-2100 or 1800-767-9857 FAX 764-2001
TTY 764-2000

FortKent
139 Market St., suite 105
Ft. Kent, Maine 04743
Voice 843-6154 FAX 834-7030
TTY 834-7074

Houlton
2 Water St., suite 1
Houlton, Maine 04730
FAX 532-4227
TTY 532-7933

Van Buren Office
2 Maine St.
Van Buren, Maine 04785
Voice 868-5335 FAX 868-5439

Machias Office
53 Prescott Drive, suite 3
Machias, Maine 04654
Voice 255-1953
TTY 255-1959

You will be notified when the investigation is completed and informed of the final disposition of the matter, within the limits of confidentiality statutes.