Complaints

Official Complaints

How to complain

We hope that most problems can be sorted out easily and quickly, often at the time they arise and with the person concerned.

If your problem cannot be sorted out in this way and you wish to make a complaint, we would like you to let us know as soon as possible - ideally, within a matter of days or at most a few weeks - because this will enable us to establish what happened more easily.

You should normally make a complaint within twelve months of the event, or within twelve months of becoming aware that you have something to complain about. However, these time limits may be waived if there are good reasons why you could not complain earlier and if we are still able to investigate the complaint fairly and effectively in spite of the delay.

Complaints can be made either orally or in writing to the Reception & Operations Manager, Helen Wiffen, or Practice Manager, Mr Paul Netherton.

What we will do next

We will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within 3 working days either orally or in writing and will offer to discuss the matter with you.

We will offer you a discussion with the Practice Manager or Operations Assistant to agree a timeframe for resolution and to reach an agreement with you on how you wish the complaint to be handled and the likely period for completion of the investigation and response to you.

If you would prefer not to accept the offer of a discussion we will determine a specified response period and notify you in writing of that period. We will aim to investigate and deal with all complaints efficiently and speedily. We will send you a written response with a report on the investigation as soon as reasonably practicable.

If we are not able to meet the response deadline we have agreed with you, we will contact you to advise why and negotiate another timescale. All oral complaints will be recorded in writing by the Practice and you will be provided with a copy of the written record on request.

Complaining on Behalf of Someone Else

We keep to the strict rules of medical and personal confidentiality. If you wish to make a complaint and are not the patient involved, we will require the written consent of the patient to confirm that they are unhappy with their treatment and that we can deal with someone else about it. In the event the patient is deceased, then we may agree to respond to a family member or anyone acting on their behalf or who has had an interest in the welfare of the patient.

Please ask at reception for the Complaints Form, which contains a suitable authority for the patient to sign to enable the complaint to proceed. Alternatively, we will send one to you to return to us when we receive your initial written complaint.

Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness, accident or mental capacity, it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances that prevent this in your covering letter.

We are unable to discuss any issue relating to someone else without their express permission, which must be in writing, unless the circumstances above apply. You may also find that if you are complaining on behalf of a child who is capable of making their own complaint, we will expect that child to contact us themselves to lodge their complaint.

We may still need to correspond directly with the patient, or may be able to deal directly with the third party. This depends on the wording of the authority provided.

Not Happy with the Outcome?

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint at local level you can ask the Ombudsman to independently review your case by writing to: The Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman Millbank Tower Millbank London SW1P 4QP Or email Phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk Or phone: 0345 015 4033 Website: www.ombudsman.org.uk

 

Practice Complaints Procedure.pdf