If you’re not happy with the care or treatment you have received, you have the right to complain, have your complaint investigated, and be given a full and prompt reply.
If you have a complaint or a concern about the service you have received from the practice, please let us know by using our online Feedback form. We operate a ‘practice-based’ complaint procedure, as part of an NHS complaints system, which meets national criteria.
Who Should I Complain to?
We hope that the practice can sort out most problems quickly and easily, at the time they arise.
If you wish to make a formal complaint about the service you have received by the practice, please submit your complaint in writing, addressed to the practice manager. You may also use our online Feedback form.
The practice manager will make sure that we deal with your concerns promptly and in the correct way. Your written complaint should be clear and concise. Please provide as much detail and information as possible.
When Should I Complain?
As soon as possible, ideally within a matter of a few days. This will enable us to establish what has happened more easily. Complaints should normally be made within twelve months of the date of the event that you’re complaining about, or as soon as the matter first came to your attention.
The time limit can sometimes be extended (so long as it’s still possible to investigate the complaint). An extension might be possible, such as in situations where it would have been difficult for you to complain earlier. This could include when you were grieving, or undergoing trauma for example.
Complaining on Behalf of Someone Else
We keep strictly to the rules of medical confidentiality. If you are not the patient but are complaining on their behalf, you must have their permission to do so. An authority signed by the person concerned will be needed.
Where the patient is incapable of providing consent due to illness or accident, it may still be possible to deal with the complaint. Please provide the precise details of the circumstances which prevent this in your complaint.
Please note that we are unable to discuss any issue relating to someone else without their expressed permission, which must be in writing, unless the circumstances above apply.
We may still need to correspond directly with the patient if we cannot just deal directly with the third party. This depends on the wording of the authority provided.
What We Will Do
We aim to resolve complaints swiftly. The practice will acknowledge your complaint within three working days and aim to have it fully investigated within ten working days of the date it was received. If we expect it to take longer, we will explain the reason for the delay and tell you when we expect to complete our investigation.
When we look into your complaint, we will investigate the circumstances, make it possible for you to discuss the problem with those concerned, make sure you receive an apology if this is appropriate, and take steps to make sure the problem does not arise again.
When the investigations are complete, you will receive a final letter setting out the result of any practice investigation, and also your right to escalate the matter further if you remain dissatisfied with the response.
Where your complaint involves more than one organisation (eg social services) we will endeavour to liaise with that organisation so that you receive a coordinated reply.
We may need your consent to do this. It is usual for the organisation with the largest part in the complaint to be considered the lead agency and they would be responsible for co-coordinating an investigation. If it is appropriate for your complaint to be dealt with by another organisation, we will advise you accordingly.
Who can Help?
Making a complaint can be daunting, but help is available. The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) offer confidential advice, support and information on health related matters to patients, their families and their carers. You can contact your local PALS office on email@example.com.
You may also wish to contact your local Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS). The Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) is a national service that supports people who wish to make a complaint about their NHS care or treatment.
You can contact your local ICAS office through PALS, or by calling 0845 456 1084.
Your local citizens advice bureau can be a great source of advice and support if you need to complain about the NHS, social services or other local authorities. You can find your local citizens advice bureau by visiting www.citizensadvice.org.uk/search.
If You Are Dissatisfied with the Outcome
If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome you have the right to refer the matter to Ombudsman. You can contact them in the following ways:
Telephone: 0345 015 4033
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman